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Old October 6th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #1
rt_0891
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Detroit - Windsor Bridge Choices Narrowed

Detroit bridge choices narrowed

By BRENT JANG

Thursday, October 6, 2005 Posted at 12:57 AM EDT

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Two controversial bridge routes for a proposed Detroit-Windsor border crossing have been eliminated from contention, narrowing the field to seven options.

Canadian and U.S. governments are worried about congestion in the busy trade corridor, and want to build a new crossing to take pressure off the existing Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor tunnel.

But Michigan residents opposed routes that would have run through the Detroit-area neighbourhoods of Downriver and Belle Isle.

The Border Transportation Partnership said yesterday that it has scratched those proposals off its list for the international construction project across the Detroit River.

The bi-national group said seven options remain under consideration, down from 15 originally on the table when the partnership made proposals in June. The Downriver and Belle Isle proposals included eight variations within those plans.

“The No. 1 objective for us right now is to determine where the crossing will go,” Ontario Transport Minister Harinder Takhar said in an interview. “Options have been eliminated as we go along, so we are making some progress.”

The partnership will continue its studies “to ensure that the right decision is made for the residents of southeast Michigan and every traveller who relies on safe, efficient crossings with Canada,” Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Ensuring a steady flow of heavy trucks, carrying goods such as auto parts, is crucial to strengthening Canada-U.S. trade, government leaders say.

However, the prospect of extra traffic and pollution is being closely scrutinized by environmentalists and neighbourhood activists.

Yesterday, Transport Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation both pledged to keep the public informed about plans for North America's busiest border crossing.

Transport Canada spokesman Mark Butler said the seven remaining options will be further reduced to a short list of perhaps three or four by the end of November, followed by public consultations expected to begin as soon as December.

The timetable calls for the partnership to recommend a preferred crossing site — either a bridge or tunnel — by the fall of 2007, and construction of that project could start in 2010 and open in 2013.

One possibility is that a new bridge could be constructed next to the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, but residents on both sides of the border have complained that having two crossings so close together wouldn't be the best option.

A year ago, Detroit International Bridge Co., controlled by entrepreneur Manuel (Matty) Moroun, proposed building a twin crossing next to the company's Ambassador Bridge.

Mr. Takhar said it's too early to speculate on whether the current studies led by governments will become a public-private endeavour, or involve the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which is jointly owned by the two cities.

Members of the partnership include Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, Transport Canada, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“We need to get our goods moving quickly and efficiently, not only to the border but also on our highways as well,” Mr. Takhar said. “Our economy depends on efficient border crossings.”

Ottawa and the Ontario government have already allotted $300-million for various Ontario infrastructure improvements, designed to tackle Detroit-Windsor gridlock until a new crossing is built.

Michigan State Senator Ray Basham praised the decision to abandon the Downriver and Belle Isle options, saying it's time to move on and scrutinize the remaining plans.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #2
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"But Michigan residents opposed routes that would have run through the Detroit-area neighbourhoods of Downriver and Belle Isle."

those bloody ingrates, if they want our garbage, they better tow the line!!

I'm actually against sending trash to Michigan
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Old October 7th, 2005, 04:31 PM   #3
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They ruled out the Amherstburg idea, which was by far the best one.
So, I've given up following this giant 'fuck up' of a decision.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #4
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Where will this bridge be in Windsor, close to the Ambassador Bridge?
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Old October 11th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #5
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Either right next to the current Ambassador Bridge or a km or so downriver from it.
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