2013-04-18 / Community

New international trade bridge receives permit

Gov. expects bridge to Canada to create jobs

DETROIT – A key permit needed to proceed with the New International Trade Crossing, has been issued.

Michigan applied for the Presidential Permit on June 21, 2012, days after Gov. Rick Snyder signed the NITC crossing agreement with Canadian officials. Effectiveness of the agreement was subject to approval by the U.S. State Department. The department conducted an extended public comment period before approving the permit, which now makes the Michigan-Canada agreement operative. While other steps remain before NITC construction begins, they hinged on Michigan’s ability to secure a Presidential Permit.

“This is all about jobs for today and tomorrow,” Snyder said. “This is a major construction project that is expected to create 12,000 direct jobs and as many as 31,000 indirect jobs. Getting Michiganmade products to more markets faster will enhance our economic competitiveness in the future and help our state create more jobs.

“This project is important for the future of Michigan, the United States and Canada. I appreciate the U.S. State Department’s thorough review as well as the continued support of our Canadian partners. This new trade crossing will make Michigan stronger in many ways.”

The U.S. State Department determined that the NITC will “serve the national interest” for several reasons, including its jobcreation benefits, advancement of America’s foreign policy interests, promotion of cross-border trade and commerce, and added capacity to accommodate expected border traffic growth.

The NITC will be built at no cost to Michigan taxpayers and will provide a modern, strategically located bridge between Detroit and Windsor. It is supported by a broad coalition that includes business and labor. The project is vital to enhancing the $70 billiona year trade relationship between Michigan and Canada. It will generate thousands of short- and long-term jobs on both sides of the border, open trade markets, strengthen economic security and ease traffic congestion.

The U.S. State Department issues Presidential Permits for the construction, connection, operation or maintenance of certain facilities at U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. Permits are required for land crossings, bridges, pipelines, tunnels and tramways.

With the Presidential Permit in hand, next steps include naming members to the International Authority, planning for the relocation of utilities, initiating the process for land acquisition and applying for a U.S. Coast Guard permit. The entire project will take about seven years and includes the building of interchange ramps and an inspection plaza.

The Federal Highway Administration granted Michigan’s request for a Buy America waiver in December 2012, allowing for the use of American and Canadian steel in the bridge.

Construction cost of the bridge itself – not including other project components such as land acquisition and the I-75 interchange construction, which Canada will pay for directly – is estimated at $950 million. The cost will be paid by a private concessionaire and will be repaid by Canada through tolls.

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