Thursday, January 15, 2009

US Government Approves New Detroit-Windsor Border Crossing System

(Michigan Department of Transportation)

The [US] federal government … issued a long-awaited decision approving a new Detroit-Windsor border crossing system over the Detroit River. The Record of Decision, issued Jan. 14, by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is the final environmental clearance for the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) Study for a proposed new border crossing system just north of Zug Island.

The Record of Decision is the last step under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to gain project approval, following four years of consultations, public hearings, traffic analyses, and environmental studies. The Record of Decision allows Michigan to begin right-of- way acquisition and construction planning for the proposed new bridge. Construction of a new border inspection plaza, bridge and interchange is scheduled to begin in 2010, with an official opening of the new crossing system planned for 2013…

…“This is a significant milestone,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Once built, the new crossing system will boost U.S. and Canadian trade by expanding the busiest trade corridor in the western hemisphere… This project is needed to transition the border crossing into a modern, multimodal network to securely move people and goods between the United States and Canada and make Southeast Michigan an even more prominent gateway for global commerce. We will be building the most modern border crossing system in the world.”…

The DRIC Study, a binational effort, was led by the Border Transportation Partnership, comprised of the FHWA, Transport Canada, MDOT and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The Border Transportation Partnership was formed in 2000 to provide for the safe, efficient and secure movement of people and goods across the U.S.-Canada border at the Detroit River to support the regional, state, provincial and national economies, and meet the civil and national defence and homeland security needs of the busiest trade corridor between the United States and Canada.

More information about the DRIC ... is available on the Border Transportation Partnership website.