The U.S. State Department said President Barack Obama has approved a new bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor, Ontario at the busiest crossing along the U.S.-Canada border.
The department said in a statement today it has issued a presidential permit to Michigan to build the bridge after determining the project would “serve the national interest.” The bridge will “meet future capacity requirements in a critical travel corridor,” it said.
The Windsor-Detroit crossing is the busiest in the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship, with more than C$130 billion ($128 billion) in shipments and 8,000 trucks crossing each day, according to Canadian government data. Truck traffic is expected to triple over the next 30 years, the country’s transport department estimates.
Much of the traffic now passes over the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge, a toll bridge owned by Detroit International Bridge Co., a private firm controlled by billionaire Manuel Moroun. Moroun has opposed the project, arguing the new bridge is unnecessary and costly, and has proposed to add a new span to the Ambassador Bridge.
Canada’s Labor Minister Lisa Raitt will make a joint announcement with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Detroit on progress toward building a new bridge to connect the city with Windsor, according to an advisory issued before the State Department statement.
The press conference will take place at 2 p.m., according to an advisory issued by the office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
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