Preparation work is underway on Windsor’s west end for the first phases of the new Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) at the Windsor-Detroit border.
A presidential permit for the new crossing was approved in April and it now appears preliminary work is underway.
According to reporter Dave Battagello at the Windsor Star, a fence has recently been erected in Brighton Beach area to mark off the new federally owned property which will be home of the Canadian plaza for the bridge, which will be built about two kilometres downriver from the Ambassador Bridge.
The Star also reports that Transport Canada has launched environmental measures required within the lands that will serve as the launching point for the new bridge. The agency is also working closely with other departments, including the Canada Border Services Agency, on the design of the Canadian plaza and completing negotiations with property owners for the remaining lands required for the plaza site.
On the U.S. side, design work for the plaza and customs inspection area is also well underway, Transport Canada’s Mark Butler told the newspaper.
Government officials overseeing the bridge project indicated construction should begin in either late 2015 or early 2016. It is expected to take four years to complete.
In the meantime, an international bridge authority of six officials – three each from Canada and the U.S. – must be appointed. They are to establish a public-private partnership corporation that will be responsible for funding, building, managing and maintaining the new bridge.
The trucking industry is being patient as preparation and construction of the DRIC bridge slowly gets underway, said OTA’s Stephen Laskowski, says.
“The private and public sectors will always define ‘quick’ differently,” he said. “That said, the trucking sector is very aware and appreciative that both Ottawa and Queen’s Park continue to make the construction of the new bridge a very high priority.”