Windsor

Infrastructure minister announces no tolls for cyclists on Gordie Howe Bridge

Hon. Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne met with Windsor community leaders Thursday to discuss the Gordie Howe Bridge project. One surprise announcement was the plan to not charge tolls for cyclists.

'Rewarding people for active transportation is a great step'

Hon. Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne met with Windsor community leaders Thursday to discuss the Gordie Howe Bridge project (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Hon. Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne met with Windsor community leaders Thursday to discuss the Gordie Howe Bridge project. One surprise announcement was the plan to not charge tolls for cyclists.

"Our intention is there will be no tolls for biking," said Champagne. 

Bike lanes were announced March 2017, and the biking community in Windsor was thrilled at the potential boost to tourism.

"Free tolling is great," said Bike Windsor-Essex executive director Lori Newton. "[Cyclists] are not wearing out the infrastructure. Rewarding people for active transportation is a great step for the government."

Lori Newton, executive director at Bike Windsor-Essex called no tolls a reward for cyclists. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Newton said the bike lanes on the bridge will allow people to explore the Great Lakes "in a whole new way."

"Today was really interesting to have these stakeholders together, to talk about these aspects," said Newton, adding that exploring all the facets of the bridge together was a unique experience.

The community leader meeting was a success, said Champagne. He meets Thursday afternoon with Windsor business leaders.

"This morning was a great meeting with the community," said Champagne. "We want a bridge that's going to be representative of the community."

According to Champagne, the bridge is one of the top five infrastructure projects in Canada. 

"We have all come out of here very excited," said Champagne. "Lets build it."

No timelines have been established yet for getting the bridge up, although "steady progress" has been made, he said. Champagne meets with the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority board Thursday night and will relay community questions to the board. 

With files from Dale Molnar

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