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Canadian diplomat says New International Trade Crossing 'is going ahead'


A Canadian official says construction of a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit can start soon, maybe 2015.  It’s just a matter of waiting for some money from the U.S. government.

While Canada is putting up the money for the bridge, the U.S. has to build a new customs plaza which is expected to cost about 250-million dollars.

Until then, the Canadian government will continue to negotiate land purchases in and around the Delray neighborhood of Detroit where the New International Trade Crossing will land in the U.S.

Roy Norton is Canadian Counsel General. He told the Southwest Detroit Business Association on Thursday that the Moroun family who owns the Ambassador Bridge is running out of ways to stop the new bridge. They see the bridge as unnecessary competition.

“The irritants, Moroun actions, whether lawsuits or more stunts, we think, can no longer kill this project. This project is going ahead.”, Norton told the group.

After the speech, Norton conceded he expected the Moroun family would continue to fight the new bridge through lawsuits and lobbying.

“They’re determined. They’re committed. And they, no doubt, will do their level best to try to prevent a federal appropriation for the U.S. Customs Plaza,” Norton told Michigan Watch.

Norton said in his speech Michigan voters made it clear they supported the New International Trade Crossing when they overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment which would have killed the project. The Moroun family and its entities spent more than $33 million on the unsuccessful campaign to pass the amendment.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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