New bridge from Detroit to Windsor estimated to cost $2.1 billion

Tonight the final hurdle to build a new Detroit-Windsor bridge. Canada announced it agreed to fund a new U.S. customs plaza in Detroit Wednesday.

The 85-year old Ambassador Bridge, which opened in 1929, is getting competition from a new international crossing linking Detroit and Windsor.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says the groundwork has been laid and the new crossing is about to become a reality.

"Canada signed an agreement with the United States, that will start this bridge to get it to be built and get it to happen," she said.

Under the plan Canada will pay to build the US customs plaza as well as the Canadian customs plaza. The total cost of the new crossing is estimated  to be $2.1 billion dollars.

Those behind the project say the new bridge could be a reality within five years.

Manuel "Matty" Maroun began private ownership and management of the Ambassador Bridge beginning in 1979. Maroun's management would not be included in the new crossing plan. removing private ownership is a problem for some lawmakers, who say the new deal is unfair to the business who operated the Ambassador Bridge for more than 30 years.

"This is a public good as the saying goes," Dingell said. "I think that an international border crossing is important for both economic and security reasons - needs to be operated by the governments of these two countries."

Denver Lee grew up in southwest Detroit thinks the new bridge should go elsewhere.

"Putting them in such close proximity is going to be a problem," Lee said. "Because with all the truck traffic we have now, Fort Street is being redone every three years with asphalt but you got trucks going all day. 

"We got the refinery down here, you might have to find somewhere else to put it."
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