DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan officials, bridge authority representatives, and Detroit community leaders gathered Friday morning to announce a deal in place for the neighborhood near the planned site of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Mayor Duggan announced that a $48 million deal for the Delray neighborhood that will be used for job training and health monitoring in the area. Duggan also announced that the city will offer resources to neighbors. He said the city won't force residents out, but if they want to move, the city will do everything possible to give them opportunities and resources.
The $2 billion bridge has been in the works for several years. Gov Rick Snyder had been pushing hard for the bridge, trying to get lawmakers to pay for part of its construction. When that didn't work, he was able to reach a deal with Canadian officials who agreed to front Michigan's $550 million share as long as its repaid through bridge tolls.
The U.S. side of the bridge would connect in southwest Detroit, causing some home and businesses to be displaced by the construction.
In 2015, it was announced that the bridge would be named after Gordie Howe due to his popularity in both the United States and Canada.
Currently, there are two ways to get from Detroit to Windsor by car. You can either drive over the Ambassador Bridge or through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Both connections are the two busiest crossings between the United States and Canada with the Ambassador Bridge being the busiest.
The new bridge was first proposed in 2004 and was met with opposition by the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, Manuel Moroun, who has filed lawsuits to try and prevent the construction of the new bridge.
The Ambassador Bridge opened November 15, 1929. When it was built in 1929, the Ambassador Bridge had the longest suspended central span in the world at 1,850 feet. It stood for two years until the George Washington Bridge was built in New York and New Jersey.
The tunnel was completed in 1930 and was the third vehicular tunnel in the United States.
The new bridge isn't expected to be complete until 2020.