State and national organizations representing construction, distribution, manufacturing, labor and the general business community are calling for swift action by the Obama administration on a new bridge between the United States and Canada across the Detroit River.
In a letter to President Obama and senior cabinet members sent March 18, 40 groups urged the administration to swiftly resolve questions surrounding funding for the U.S. customs facility associated with the project so construction can commence. The new six-lane bridge, which has been on the drawing board for a decade, has important logistics and supply chain implications. The Detroit-Windsor trade corridor is the busiest between the United States and Canada, handling 8,000 truck crossings and 68,000 travelers daily. The existing four-lane, 85-year old Ambassador Bridge is inadequate to handle projected volume increases.
“This project is a winner for the North American economy,” Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) Vice President of Government Affairs Christian Klein said. “It will add vital new capacity, reduce border congestion, enhance efficiencies for businesses in both countries, benefit the environment, and create jobs.”
The Canadian Government has agreed to pay for almost all the $2 billion bridge; however the United States has not yet committed to its share — $250 million for the Federal Plaza. The groups urged the White House to make U.S. Customs and Border protection funds available for the project. They also called on the president to name a senior White House official to coordinate between interested parties and move the project forward.
The letter, which was coordinated by AED, the trade association representing construction equipment dealers, is available at http://tinyurl.com/q4kb87g.