Future Canadian border bridge could be privately built

| Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Canadian lawmakers could partner with private investors and builders when the time comes for another bridge to be built over the Detroit River.

Canadian Transportation Minister Lawrence Cannon, speaking Monday to the Canadian Council of Public-Private Partnerships in Montreal, said elected officials are taking such partnerships between the government and private investors seriously.

The Canadian House of Commons is considering legislation - Bill C-3 - to empower public-private partnerships in the areas of construction, maintenance, sale and operation of bridges and tunnels linked to the U.S.

The legislation would be timely for the Detroit River International Crossing group, a bi-national committee charged with finding a location for another border crossing linking the Ontario city of Windsor with Detroit across the river.

The aging Ambassador Bridge is the busiest border crossing in North America, and the region needs another crossing within a few miles, officials have said.

Officials on both sides of the border have said they are hoping for a fully functioning bridge crossing by 2013.

The company that owns and operates the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit International Bridge Company - owned by trucking mogul Matty Moroun - is reportedly talking to lawmakers about joining a public-private partnership for the future bridge, according to Today's Trucking.

In the meantime, the Detroit International Bridge Company continues to move ahead with its own independent proposal to twin the Ambassador Bridge. The company owns property on both sides of the Detroit River and has been a powerhouse in the decision-making and policies affecting border traffic in the region.

 

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