TORONTO, (Aug. 17, 2004) — A study commissioned by the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership has concluded that a proposed $600 million conversion of twin railway tunnels into a “commercial truck only” corridor beneath the Detroit River will result in reduced traffic congestion and emissions at the Windsor-Detroit border.
The study — conducted by Dr. Alex Metcalf, president of Transportation and Economics Management System — found that, when implemented, The Jobs Tunnel project will reduce annual truck emissions reduced by 50 per cent; and eliminate 75 million hours of truck delays, which will save the trucking industry shippers and consumers of $3 billion in fuel, time and other costs.
To ensure accuracy, the DRTP says the study used data from the Bi-National Study SEMCOG and the City of Windsor. The study also used approved methodology from Transport Canada, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and was peer reviewed by the auditing and management consulting firm Deloitte Touche.
“It’s difficult to imagine why the Jobs Tunnel has not been started by now with all of the lengthy truck queues along Huron Church Road,” stated Deloitte Touche’s review on Dr. Metcalf’s study.
Dr. Metcalf also added that since the implementation of the preferred alternative(s) resulting from the bi-national study is realistically 2015 or beyond, a short-term solution for the current border congestion crises is still needed.
The Jobs Tunnel is an infrastructure project proposed by
the DRTP — a partnership between Canadian Pacific Railway and Borealis Transportation Infrastructure Trust. It plans to rebuild 14 km of existing rail corridor and tunnel into a modern, secure, two-lane roadway and tunnel only for transport trucks. It also incorporates a direct route, connecting Highway 401 in Windsor, Ont. and Interstate 75 in Detroit –North America’s two major transportation routes that are currently accessed by only one lane of roadway.
The project also includes construction of a replacement rail tunnel designed for high-clearance, triple-deck rail cars.
The Jobs Tunnel is one several plans being touted by various companies. Earlier this month, the owners of the Ambassador Bridge filed permit applications for a second, $395 million span running parallel to the bridge.
Another is plan is to increase $14 million in passenger and truck ferry services between Windsor and Detroit. A third group, Mich-Can, wants to build a bridge near Zug Island on Detroit’s south side.
The Detroit-Windsor crossings account for about a quarter of the $400 billion ($526 billion) in goods that travel each year between the U.S. and Canada. Each year, 3.25 million trucks cross the bridge. Annual commercial traffic between the two crossings has doubled over the last decade, and is expected to triple within the next 20 years.
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