WINDSOR, Ont. — Canadian government officials have welcomed the “technically and environmentally preferred” location of the new inspection plazas and bridge crossing between Windsor and Detroit as presented by the binational study team.
The announcement, made earlier today, represents the result of years of technical studies, analysis and community input by the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) study teams on both sides of the border. Over the coming months, the DRIC study teams will continue preparation of final environmental assessment documents for submission to approval authorities in each country.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of an efficient, effective and secure Windsor-Detroit trade corridor, as well as the need to move ahead with the development of a new border crossing for this region,” said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Today’s announcement of the locations of the inspection plaza and new bridge brings us a step closer to an end-to-end transportation solution that will support international trade and, therefore, enhance the economies of Windsor, Essex County, Ontario and Canada.”
“Increasing border crossing capacity while ensuring efficiency and security are key priorities for our government,” said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety. “The Prime Minister raised the issue of congestion at major border crossing points, such as Windsor-Detroit, with US President George Bush at the Leaders’ Summit in New Orleans in April.”
The Canadian inspection plaza is bounded by Broadway Street on the south side, Chappus Street on the north side, the Detroit River on the west side and the Essex Terminal Railway line on the east side. The new inspection plaza and bridge will mitigate environmental impacts and therefore improve the quality of life for local residents, said officials in a release.
The development of additional border crossing capacity at Windsor-Detroit will not only have the benefit of more efficient trade flow between the two countries, but will also create jobs on both sides of the border.
“I congratulate the DRIC study team on reaching this important milestone,” said Sandra Pupatello, Member of Provincial Parliament for Windsor West. “We committed to making a plaza decision by spring so the residents of Spring Garden will have clarity on property impacts and we have done that. We have always said that the DRIC process would be respectful of the historic nature of Olde Sandwich Towne and protect its special character and we have done that, too.”
The vast majority (62%) of Canadian and US bilateral trade crosses the Canada-U.S. border by land. Each day, 36,000 trucks cross the shared border, more than one-quarter of these at Windsor-Detroit, making it the busiest commercial land border crossing in North America. In fact, the total bilateral trade crossing at Windsor-Detroit is greater than all the trade that exists between the US and Japan.
Since the implementation of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement in 1989, two-way trade has tripled and is expected to continue to increase over the next 30 years. Under high-growth scenarios, cross-border traffic demand could exceed the capacity of the present border crossing systems in the Detroit River area as early as 2015.
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