Canada and the U.S. have named the members of the international authority that will oversee the construction of the new publicly owned bridge connecting Windsor, Ont., and Detroit.
Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the announcement in Windsor on Wednesday.
The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) will consist of:
Kristine Burr (Chair) and Geneviève Gagnon of Canada and Michael D. Hayes, Birgit M. Klohs, and Matt Rizik of the US. A third Canadian member will be named later.
The group of six will oversee and approve key steps in the procurement process for the new crossing. It will also monitor compliance of the Windsor-Detroit Authority with the crossing agreement, signed by Canada and Michigan in 2012.
Raitt also announced appointments to the board of the authority: Michele (Michael) Cautillo, president and CEO. Cautillo is a civil engineer who has worked as a transportation specialist and partner in Deloitte’s Ontario Infrastructure Advisory and Project Finance group; Mark McQueen, chair of the board of directors; William Graham, and Caroline Mulroney Lapham, daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, as directors.
The Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority will be the manager of “all parts of the project” in Canada and the U.S. once it’s built, Raitt said. It will also set and collect tolls.
Canada has agreed to pay for construction of the bridge and will recoup its costs through tolls.
Last month, the long-awaited binational border crossing obtained its final approval via permit from the U.S. Coast Guard after a U.S. court rejected a request for an injunction filed by the owners of the existing private Ambassador Bridge.
The next step involves securing funding for a U.S. customs facility, along with acquiring land on the American side.
A proposal to transfer 301 Detroit-owned properties to the Michigan Land Bank in exchange for $1.4 million from the Canadian government as part of plans for the crossing was delayed Monday, CBC reports.
Sources tell The Canadian Press the panel is expected to try to move the project forward, but the proposed New International Trade Crossing will still need $250 million in U.S. funding to build a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection plaza in Detroit.
If everything goes smoothly, the bridge is expected to open in 2020.