Windsor

Land clearing begins, makes way for new Windsor-Detroit bridge

The clearing of land that will allow for construction of the new international bridge between Windsor and Detroit has begun on both sides of the border.
Canada is Michigan’s largest trading partner, and more than 200,000 Michigan jobs depend on U.S.-Canada trade, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

The clearing of land that will allow for construction of the new international bridge between Windsor and Detroit has begun on both sides of the border.

Columbia Utility Services of St. Joachim was awarded the tendered contract of $1 Million to clear out the trees and shrubs on the Canadian side. 

About 36 hectares are being cleared for the inspection plaza and the footings for the new bridge which will cut across Brighton Beach, just south of the power generating station and then swing north around the plant across the river to Delray, Michigan.

According to the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, the trees and shrubs are not species at risk.

A number of at risk plants were removed a year ago and relocated to a conservation area near Chatham.

In August, the bridge authority removed garbage and illegally dumped material from the site.

Houses demolished 

Over in Michigan, three blighted and abandoned publicly-owned structures on South Post Street, South Crawford Street and Reid Street in southwest Detroit are being cleared this week, according to a news release issued by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Additional demolition activity will occur in the next several months.

“The [New International Trade Crossing] will energize the turnaround of Detroit and our entire state,” Snyder said in the release. “It means jobs for families, modern infrastructure that attracts investment, and greater security for Michigan and America.

"The clearing of land is the latest phase of this exciting project, which is right on track and moving forward."
In July, appointments to the international authority overseeing the bridge were announced by Snyder and Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Transport. The authority will oversee construction of the publicly owned bridge between Detroit and Windsor.

The permit from the U.S. Coast Guard also was granted earlier this year.

Canada is Michigan’s largest trading partner, and more than 200,000 Michigan jobs depend on U.S.-Canada trade, Snyder said.

Property hold-out

Meanwhile across the border, only one property owner in the Brighton Beach area stands in the way of the site preparation for the new bridge.
     
David Joncas lives on about an acre of property across the road from where the site clearing is going on.

Joncas said his property includes his excavating business that he will have to move as well.   

He wants about $1 million for his property.

"We try to make negotiations with [Transport Canada]. They haven't come to the board with anything serious or even close to what I'm looking at to get out of here to replace this," he said.

A spokesperson for Transport Canada would only say the discussions are ongoing with Joncas.
     

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