Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

A bridge to prosperity

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Re: What's supporting new Detroit-Windsor bridge? (Nov. 5). The answer is simple -- economic prosperity for all of Canada.

The Windsor-Detroit trade corridor is by far Canada's busiest border crossing with the U.S., handling almost 30 per cent of Canada-U.S. surface trade and almost one-third of Canada-U.S. truck traffic (over 7,000 per day). In 2011, Canada-U.S. trade reached $689 billion, of which more than $120 billion crossed at the Detroit River.

In fact, Canada conducts more business with Michigan than it does with any country in the world -- except for the U.S. as a whole.

Presently, 99 per cent of Windsor-Detroit truck traffic crosses the 83-year-old, four-lane Ambassador Bridge. It is the only major Ontario-U.S. crossing without direct highway access and without significant additional and alternate border-crossing capacity for truck traffic.

Over the next 30 years, truck traffic is expected to triple and vehicle traffic to double.

The goods that cross at this strategic border crossing support millions of jobs in all of Canada and the U.S. and can only help to create more new jobs.

A new bridge is needed to support the dynamic, just-in-time-delivery economies that are critical to the competitiveness of the automotive and agricultural industries, just to name a few.

While Canada has offered to fund the U.S. components of the project that would normally be paid by the State of Michigan, it is important to note that those costs will be recouped through tolls.

The bridge itself will be built by a private sector partner, one selected through a fair, transparent and competitive public-private contracting process.

The crossing agreement signed by all partners states that any cost overruns incurred during the building of the bridge itself will be the responsibility of that private sector builder and not either government.

 

Denis Lebel

Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Ottawa

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2012 A10

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