Windsor

Trudeau-Trump joint statement affirms confidence in Gordie Howe bridge project

During the much anticipated meeting between the two leaders on Monday, Trudeau and Trump issued a joint statement specifically referencing the bridge, saying they "look forward to the expeditious completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge."

The bridge authority expects to announce which group will build the new international crossing later this year

U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington Monday. (Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have created new confidence in the completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

During the much anticipated meeting between the two leaders on Monday, Trudeau and Trump issued a joint statement specifically referencing the bridge, saying they "look forward to the expeditious completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge."

They also called the trade route a "vital economic link between our two countries." The statement was welcoming to Dwight Duncan, chairman of the group overseeing construction of the bridge.

Dwight Duncan, chairman of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Authority, applauds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for ensuring strong trade between Canada and the U.S. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

"It's a reaffirmation from both governments," he told CBC News. "The re-affirmation from the U.S. administration is important and we're glad for the continuing support."

Bridge officials heard about Trump's support for the project after he was elected, but there had been no official statement, according to Duncan.

"The statement today is clear and unequivocal," he said. "We're proceeding just as we have been from the get-go."

The bridge authority expects to announce which group will build the new international crossing later this year, Duncan explained.

The Windsor-Detroit crossing is the busiest commercial trade crossing between the U.S. and Canada. Almost one quarter of all goods moving between the two countries pass over the existing bridge and through the tunnel connecting Detroit and Windsor.

The long-sought new bridge, to be built over the Detroit River, spawned a hard-fought political battle among national, state, provincial and local politicians and the private owner of the existing Ambassador Bridge.

To make the project a reality, the Canadian government agreed to pay for all construction costs, including $250 million for the inspection plaza on the American side of the river, with a plan to recoup the costs through tolls.

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