The proposed new bridge linking Windsor and Detroit appears to have jumped through its last regulatory hoop.
The long-awaited binational border crossing obtained a permit from the U.S. Coast Guard this week – the last reported regulatory approval needed to press start on the project.
The Coast Guard issued the permit almost immediately after a U.S. Circuit Court in Washington, D.C., rejected an attempt by the competing Ambassador Bridge to get an injunction and block the approval.
In its opinion, the court concluded there is no evidence the Coast Guard permit would cause irreparable harm to private Ambassador Bridge’s own interests.
“We now have the presidential permit, signed off on by nine (federal) agencies in the U.S. We have the Coast Guard approval and the court case dismissed,” said Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S.
The next step involves funding for a U.S. customs facility, which must happen before shovels hit the ground. However, as the Globe & Mail reported this week, this won’t be easy either and ambiguity persists.
Despite Canada agreeing to pick up the $3.4 billion tab to build the bridge on both sides of the border, Washington continues to shrug off paying a $250-million (U.S.) to pay for its own customs plaza on the Michigan side of the bridge.
According to the Globe, “Ottawa has understandably drawn a line in the asphalt” over paying for another government’s customs checkpoint.
OTA continues to monitor the situation.