Canada won’t try to recapture Detroit by using the proposed New International Trade Crossing bridge

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There hasn’t been a lot of news about the proposed bridge linking Detroit and Windsor since a ballot proposal that would have required Michigan residents to vote on its construction was defeated in November.

But the project is moving along, according to Roy Norton, Canada’s consul general in Detroit.

A waiver of the federal “buy American” requirement has been approved, allowing the contractor to use Canadian steel on the span. American steel also will be used. Rumors that Chinese steel will be used in constructing the bridge are untrue, Norton said.

The next step is approval of a presidential permit in Washington, which should be finalized in a few months.

“We don’t anticipate any difficulty,” Norton told me. “The process is taking its natural course.”

Once that final permit is approved, Canada can start purchasing land where the bridge will connect in Detroit. Canada must buy the property, Norton said, because the project agreement requires Canada to pay all of the bridge costs.

But the gentlemanly Norton says that Canada is not treading on U.S. sovereignty by purchasing land for the bridge in Detroit.

“We are reconciled to the outcome of the War of 1812,” he said. “We are not trying to take Detroit over again.”

Norton said he expects construction of the bridge to start next year.