According to the Detroit
Free Press, a Toronto company is planning to create a new truck tunnel between
Detroit and Windsor, Ontario to help speed trade at the busiest U.S.-Canadian
border crossing. The project would cost about $375 million and would be paid
in part by tolls.
About 9,500 trucks reportedly
cross the Ambassador Bridge connecting the two cities daily. Commercial traffic
at Michigan's three commercial truck crossings doubled to 5.3 million trucks
per year from 1990 to 2000, and is expected to triple by 2020.
If approved, the Detroit
River Rail Tunnel, a 100-year-old cargo train tunnel, would be converted into
a two-way truck tunnel. A new tunnel for trains would then be built under
the truck tunnel, or beside it on the bed of the Detroit River. The truck
tunnel could open by 2006.
The plan was announced
by Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc., which bought a 50-percent share
of the tunnel with Canadian National Railway this spring. In March, Borealis
also purchased land around the tunnel openings.
While funding appears
to be in order, state officials said the issue of where to put Customs officials
and how to minimize delays at the tunnel would be an obstacle.