Construction to replace the privately owned Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor and Detroit will likely cost about $1 billion and create about 4,000 jobs in the border area, says the president of the Detroit International Bridge Company.
Don Stamper also says in published report that the work can start by the end of 2017 or early in 2018 – representing a much faster progress than the process to build the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, a Canadian government-supported public-private partnership project that is expected to begin construction late next year.
The Ambassador Bridge has enjoyed a rare privately owned border crossing monopoly for decades, and the Moroun family owners have been putting up every roadblock they could attempt to prevent the Gordie Howe Bridge from moving forward.
However, they secured approvals from the US and Canadian governments to build their own replacement span. The old bridge will be torn down within a few years.
Stamper said he expects that the privately owned bridge can open by 2020. “I think as a private company we have opportunities to do things a bit different than a DOT (Department of Transport) would do them, and to do them in a more efficient and faster way,” he said in the published interview.
“All of the major permits are in hand,” the publication quoted Stamper as saying.
The bridge will be cable stayed, which limits the number of potential contractors to build the structure – but much work can still be done by local companies. He reportedly said that some $500 million has been spent on property acquisition in Windsor and Detroit, environmental and engineering approvals, and legal costs.