Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour welcomed the signing of the Presidential Permit for the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) / New International Trade Crossing (NITC). The Permit, signed by President Barrack Obama, is a requirement for all U.S. border-crossing projects, and was the last step before acquisition of properties in the U.S. can take place, utilities relocated, land cleared and more detailed design work completed in preparation of the procurement process to select a successful private sector partner to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the new crossing. Commencement of construction is expected in 2015 or 2016. The total cost of the project has been estimated at $3.5 billion, and could be finished by 2020.

“We now have all the necessary approvals in both countries to proceed with construction. Canada and the United States are each other’s most important trading partners. The Presidential Permit represents an important step towards a new bridge which will be needed for growing trade and traffic at the busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing with over 8,000 trucks crossing each day,” said Minister Raitt. “This project will create thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border both during the construction period and in the years to come.”

The crossing is one of Canada’s top infrastructure priorities. In addition to the new six-lane bridge, the project includes state-of-the-art inspection plazas and an interchange with Interstate-75 in Michigan.

In June 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the signing of the Crossing Agreement. Under that agreement, Canada will be responsible for constructing, financing and operating the new crossing, and be repaid from collection of tolls.