Feds land deal to jumpstart new border bridge

WINDSOR, Ont. — The Canadian government has purchased approximately 94 acres of land from the City of Windsor, which marks an important step forward in building the new border crossing between Windsor, Ont. and Detroit.

The land has been purchased to build the new Canadian inspection plaza and Canada’s portion of the six-lane bridge. The federal government purchased the land for $34 million, through its federal Gateways and Border Crossings Fund.

“With this land purchase, the Government of Canada is another step closer to completing a new border crossing system between Windsor and Detroit,” says Jeff Watson, MP for Windsor-Essex.

The proposed Canadian inspection plaza will have a surface area of about 139 acres, making it one of largest in North America.

The size of the plaza will allow for growth to respond to future border initiatives and traffic increases, as well as include significant green space to provide a buffer between the surrounding community and the inspection operations area.

There will be more than 100 spots for inspection of commercial vehicles at the plaza. Of the 29 lanes planned for the plaza, 13 will be truck only, while another six will be for cars and trucks.

The land purchase represents the largest single block of land needed to build a new inspection plaza and six-lane bridge. An additional 108 acres of land is still required and the Canadian government is still negotiating property acquisitions with individual residential and industrial landowners.

"Brighton Beach was the community’s preferred choice for the new bridge and plaza and we are very pleased that the City of Windsor has been able to assist and facilitate progress on the future construction of this vital economic link between Canada and the U.S.," says Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis.

Meanwhile, the owner’s of the private Ambassador Bridge continues with plans to twin its current structure.

The company has spent millions developing new customs and toll plazas on each side of the border in advance of a new span, but was recently told by the U.S. Coast Guard to halt the project because it supposedly didn’t get all the authorized approvals.

The company said it intends to do so and will proceed with the twin span project.

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