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Nations work to open busiest border

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Canadian, American, Ontario and Michigan governments have moved into the initial planning stud...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian, American, Ontario and Michigan governments have moved into the initial planning study hoped to improve long-term traffic flows at the Windsor-Detroit gateway.

The partnership of the four governments has awarded a $4.5 million contract for the Needs and Feasibility Planning Study to lead consultant, URS Cole Sherman.

The study will identify short-and long-term transportation needs, alternatives and potential new crossings to improve the movement of people, goods and services in Michigan and Southwest Ontario. During the past year, the four governments have been working closely to streamline and accelerate the environmental and planning processes through the creation of a single, integrated planning process.

“The Detroit-Windsor gateway is the most important economic link between Canada and the United States,” says Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette. “This study will help address the negative effects on transportation and trade resulting from increased congestion and delays at the border.”

This study is the first of a six-stage integrated planning and environmental process. It will take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete the first stage. Key stakeholders and the public will be invited to provide input and advice through advisory groups and public information centres.

“The Windsor-Detroit border crossing is a vital economic gateway for our province’s trade with the U.S.,” Ontario Minister of Transportation Brad Clark says. “This project is a critical step towards ensuring Ontario’s competitiveness in the future through the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across the border.”

As a result of the tragic events of Sept. 11, border management issues have become more urgent and critical. The partners are working to accelerate the planning work and also working with border inspection agencies to develop operational measures to ease congestion at the border.

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