TC forks over cash for Windsor truck ferry project

WINDSOR, Ont. — The Windsor Detroit Truck Ferry may have some unresolved issues with certain branches of the Canadian government, but Transport Canada is no longer one of them.

According to The Windsor Star, construction is underway on an $8.8-million improvement project for the Detroit River Ferry following months of delay.

The holdup was reportedly due to Transport Canada‘s unwillingness to match Ontario’s commitment to fund 50 percent of the project.

The feds, reports The Star, are now all-in. Details on how the parties reached an agreement haven’t been released, however.

The ferry project includes a new entrance road, new lighting, railway connection, spill containment and shoreline improvements to the ferry dock property, which is located in an industrial section just west of Windsor.

The project is expected to be completed June.

The Windsor Detroit Truck Ferry is the only transport link permitted to transport hazmat and dangerous goods between Windsor and Detroit, although the Ambassador Bridge has been known to accept such cargo on its span anyway.

The ferry also comes in handy when the bridge is overwhelmed in an emergency, as it was used to carry autoparts and other just-in-time shipments during 9-11.

Dealing with Ottawa hasn’t always been easy for ferry owner Gregg Ward, though,

As has detailed, the Canadian Coast Guard charges the ferry exorbitant "ice-breaking" fees but exempts a handful of Canadian-based ferry services located nearby even though they use the same waterway.

Ward, who has been battling the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for a decade over this policy, points out that a majority of icebreaking services on that part of the Detroit River are provided by the U.S. Coast Guard at no charge to Canada.

Too bad for him the Coast Guard doesn’t answer to Transport Canada. 

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