American, Canadian steel OK’d for planned new Detroit River bridge

By Todd Spangler
Detroit Free Press Washington Staff

WASHINGTON — The Federal Highway Administration has approved a waiver from a Buy American provision to allow the use of American and Canadian steel in the construction of a new Detroit River bridge.

The waiver was considered necessary for the project to move forward, but a presidential permit from the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office is still needed for the international span to be built.

Federal rules mandate the use of American steel but administration officials agreed to a waiver to allow the use of Canadian steel as well, since the Canadian government “is assuming all the financial liability and risk for the construction of the project.”

The granting of the waiver was noted in the Federal Register on Wednesday. The notice said of 11 businesses that made comments on the proposed waiver, only one — the Detroit International Bridge Co., which owns the existing Ambassador Bridge — objected to the waiver.