Gov. Rick Snyder announces appointments to move international bridge project forward

Gov. Rick Snyder announces appointments to move international bridge project forward
Authority to oversee New International Trade Crossing development

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Windsor, ON – Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Transport and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced appointments to the International Authority which will oversee the construction of the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.

Mrs. Kristine Burr and Mrs. Geneviève Gagnon have been appointed by Canada and Mr. Michael D. Hayes, Mrs. Birgit M. Klohs and Mr. Matt Rizik have been appointed by Michigan. Mrs. Burr will also serve as the Chairperson of the International Authority. A third Canadian member will be selected by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) in the near future.

Minister Raitt also announced today appointments to the Board of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.  Mr. Michele “Michael” Cautillo P.Eng., M.Eng., has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mark McQueen as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and Mr. William Graham and Mrs. Caroline Mulroney Lapham as Directors.

Quick Facts

  • The International Authority was created pursuant to the Crossing Agreement signed by Canada and Michigan on June 15, 2012. Comprised of six members with equal representation from Canada and Michigan, the International Authority will oversee and approve key steps in the P3 procurement process for the new Windsor-Detroit bridge crossing. It will also monitor the compliance of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority with the Crossing Agreement signed by Canada and Michigan.
  • The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority was created in 2012 and is Canada’s newest Crown Corporation.  The WDBA will manage the procurement process for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new bridge through a public-private partnership (P3). It will also oversee the work of the public-private partnership, manage the concession agreement and payments, and set and collect tolls.
  • The project is known as the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) in Canada and the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) in Michigan. The project consists of four major infrastructure components: the bridge, the Canadian port of entry (POE), the U.S. POE, and an interchange connection to Interstate 75 in Michigan.

Quotes

“These appointments to the International Authority and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority are a significant step forward towards building a new publicly-owned bridge between Canada and the United States. These individuals bring strong leadership skills, engineering, legal and financial expertise, and wide-ranging business experience to the International Authority and the WDBA board. We will benefit greatly from their knowledge and commitment to community service.”

The Honourable Lisa Raitt

Minister of Transport
“This milestone is the latest achievement in an exciting project that will create short- and long-term jobs, energize the economy and enhance security for Michigan and Canada. The International Authority has a leadership role in driving the New International Trade Crossing forward. We’re fortunate to have such talented, dedicated appointees who are willing to serve. I am confident they will provide the expertise and guidance that will make the NITC a shining example of international cooperation and economic success.”

Rick Snyder

Governor of Michigan

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Originally posted at: Michigan.gov

Michigan Leaders Praise Granting of Presidential Permit

New International Trade Crossing Moves Forward

Washington, DC. – The U.S. Department of State issued a Presidential Permit for the construction of the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) today. The project could break ground some time in 2014 and is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs and secure international commerce with Canada, Michigan’s largest trading partner, for decades to come.

“This is great news for Michigan,” said L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive. “We need this critical piece of infrastructure to support trade with Canada, which provides more than 230,000 jobs in Michigan, including 41,000 jobs in Oakland County.”

The new Detroit-Windsor bridge is supported by more than 175 business, labor, and community leaders and organizations representing more than 10,000 businesses and hundreds of thousands of Michigan employees.

“This is great news for Michigan and North America. To ensure our companies can compete, they need the infrastructure to connect them to the marketplace,” said Andy Johnston, Vice President of Government and Corporate Affairs, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “The New International Trade Crossing is a key platform for improving the flow of trade, and it will play a vital role in creating and supporting economic growth, including right here in West Michigan.”

The Detroit-Windsor border is crucial to Michigan’s economic success. In 2011, trade between Michigan and Canada totaled $70.2 billion – more than 11 percent of the total U.S./Canada trade. Additionally, more than 8,000 trucks per day cross the Detroit-Windsor border. According to the Public Border Operators Association (PBOA), truck traffic is projected to increase 128 percent over the next 30 years.

“The success and growth of Michigan’s auto industry is directly tied to exporting and importing products with Canada,” said Tim Daman, President and CEO, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The Detroit-Windsor corridor is arguably the most important international crossing for trade in the world and is in desperate need of an upgrade. The new crossing will provide secure world-class trade and transportation infrastructure, providing the long needed direct freeway-to-freeway connection to the busiest corridor between the U.S. and Canada.”

The project has received all of the necessary environmental clearances in the U.S. and Canada. The project now awaits the final approval for the U.S. Coast Guard permit as well as land acquisition.

“The New International Trade Crossing expands our markets with our largest trading partner and will position Michigan as a global trade hub for decades to come,” said Paul Tait, Executive Director, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). ”This bridge will make freight movement more efficient and give our border critical backup to expand our region’s standing in the market.”

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Michigan Chamber Of Commerce Applauds Permit Approval For New International Trade Crossing

LANSING, Mich. — Calling it a great day for the entire state, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce today expressed optimism about the state’s economic future with the announcement that a key federal permit required to construct the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) has been approved.

“Approval of the Presidential Permit to proceed with construction of the NITC is great news for Michigan,” said Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley . “The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has been a strong supporter of the new bridge because it is an important project that will have a meaningful impact on our economic competitiveness.”

“In addition to creating thousands of direct construction jobs, the new crossing will ensure that Michigan-based businesses will have efficient and cost-effective access to markets around the globe,” Studley added.

“Governor Snyder has shown bold leadership with his plans to reinvent Michigan and the NITC is another important step to ensuring that businesses will locate and thrive in our great state,” noted Jim Holcomb , Senior Vice President, Business Advocacy & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. “Building the NITC is a critical improvement in our transportation infrastructure and will allow businesses of all types and sizes to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.”

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business organization representing approximately 6,400 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber represents businesses of every size and type in all 83 counties of the state. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan’s job providers in the legislative, political and legal process. It is one of only six state chambers accredited by the U.S. Chamber and one of only four state chambers accredited with distinction.

SOURCE Michigan Chamber of Commerce

‘This is all about jobs for today and tomorrow’; Snyder lauds federal government’s approval of key NITC permit

Originally posted by Governor Rick Snyder

DETROIT – Gov. Rick Snyder today welcomed federal issuance of a key permit needed to proceed with the New International Trade Crossing, a project expected to create 12,000 jobs and enhance Michigan’s economic future.

Michigan applied for the Presidential Permit on June 21, 2012, days after Snyder signed the historic NITC crossing agreement with Canadian officials. Effectiveness of the agreement was subject to approval by the U.S. State Department. The department conducted an extended public comment period before approving the permit, which now makes the Michigan-Canada agreement operative. While other steps remain before NITC construction begins, they hinged on Michigan’s ability to secure a Presidential Permit.

“This is all about jobs for today and tomorrow,” Snyder said. “This is a major construction project that is expected to create 12,000 direct jobs and as many as 31,000 indirect jobs. Getting Michigan-made products to more markets faster will enhance our economic competitiveness in the future and help our state create more jobs.

“This project is important for the future of Michigan, the United States and Canada. I appreciate the U.S. State Department’s thorough review as well as the continued support of our Canadian partners. This new trade crossing will make Michigan stronger in many ways.”

The U.S. State Department determined that the NITC will “serve the national interest” for several reasons, including its job-creation benefits, advancement of America’s foreign policy interests, promotion of cross-border trade and commerce, and added capacity to accommodate expected border traffic growth.

The NITC will be built at no cost to Michigan taxpayers and will provide a modern, strategically located bridge between Detroit and Windsor. It is supported by a broad coalition that includes business and labor. The project is vital to enhancing the $70 billion-a-year trade relationship between Michigan and Canada. It will generate thousands of short- and long-term jobs on both sides of the border, open trade markets, strengthen economic security and ease traffic congestion.

“Michigan is moving forward and the future is bright,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said. “We’re positioning the Detroit community and our entire state to thrive in the global economy. The NITC will open doors for entrepreneurs, farmers and manufacturers in every corner of our state. There’s still much work to be done but approval of the Presidential Permit is a significant step along Michigan’s path to prosperity. We look forward to working with the Delray community as this project progresses.”

The U.S. State Department issues Presidential Permits for the construction, connection, operation or maintenance of certain facilities at U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. Permits are required for land crossings, bridges, pipelines, tunnels and tramways.

With the Presidential Permit in hand, next steps include naming members to the International Authority, planning for the relocation of utilities,  initiating the process for land acquisition and applying for a U.S. Coast Guard permit. The entire project will take about seven years and includes the building of interchange ramps and an inspection plaza. Construction of the actual bridge span is expected to begin in about two years.

The Federal Highway Administration granted Michigan’s request for  a Buy America waiver in December 2012, allowing for the use of American and Canadian steel in the bridge.

The NITC will be a public bridge operated by a private concessionaire. Its benefits include:

  • The creation of about 12,000 direct and as many as 31,000 indirect jobs related to construction.
  • Allowing Michigan to use Canada’s generous contribution of up to $550 million as eligible matching funds for U.S. federal aid to support the state’s highway projects.
  • A new direct connection between I-75 in Michigan and Highway 401 in Canada that eases traffic congestion at the border and allows trucks to bypass residential communities. The existing bridge at the Detroit-Windsor crossing is the No. 1 traffic bottleneck in the entire Pan-American Freeway system.
  • Reducing costs to job providers, particularly the auto industry. Estimates show that border regulations and delays now add significant costs to vehicle production.
  • Minimizing the likelihood of an economic disaster for Michigan or Windsor should one of the other border crossings sustain lengthy shutdowns.
  • Additional border-crossing capacity to meet the long-term demands of our growing economies.
  • New investment being attracted to Michigan by this modern infrastructure.

The Michigan-Canada agreement allows for the creation of an International Authority to oversee the letting of bids to privately design, develop, finance, construct and operate the NITC. The Authority will be comprised of three members appointed by Canada and three members appointed by Michigan.

Construction cost of the bridge itself – not including other project components such as land acquisition and the I-75 interchange construction, which Canada will pay for directly – is estimated at $950 million. The cost will be paid by a private concessionaire and will be repaid by Canada through tolls.

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Issuance of Presidential Permit for New International Trade Crossing

Originally posted by the U.S. Department of State

Today the Department of State issued a Presidential Permit to the State of Michigan for the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of a bridge linking Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario.

Under Executive Order 11423, as amended, the Secretary of State may issue a Presidential permit for an international border crossing after finding that such a crossing will serve the national interest. After a thorough review of the Presidential Permit application for the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) that the Department of State received on June 21, 2012, and taking into account the public and inter-agency comments received on the matter, the Department of State determined that the issuance of a Presidential Permit for the NITC would serve the national interest. The Presidential Permit will be published in the Federal Register in the near future.

Consistent with the bilateral Beyond the Border Initiative, this permit contributes to ensuring that our border infrastructure supports increased competitiveness, job creation, and broad-based prosperity in the United States and Canada. The NITC will help to meet future capacity requirements in a critical travel corridor, promote cross-border trade and commerce, and advance our vital bilateral relationship with Canada.

New International Trade Crossing Clears Another Hurdle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

State Transportation Commission supports NITC

Meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, the State Transportation Commission (STC) today unanimously approved a resolution supporting Gov. Snyder’s plan to build the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) bridge across the Detroit River. The STC establishes transportation policy for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

“The Michigan State Transportation Commission agrees with Gov. Snyder that the NITC is a unique opportunity for Michigan that will support new trade, create new jobs and provide additional funds for our roads without costing Michigan taxpayers,” states the resolution that commissioners adopted by a 5-0 vote.

“Our work to rebuild Michigan begins with shoring up our foundation, our roads and bridges,” said STC Chairman Jerry Jung. “Accepting a deal with Canada, our most important trading partner, to improve the flow of commerce by adding another border crossing dovetails nicely with that goal. And this investment comes with neither cost nor risk to state taxpayers.”

The resolution notes that the NITC project will create 10,000 immediate jobs, add more than 30,000 associated jobs during construction, and retain an additional 25,000 long-term jobs.

Canada is Michigan’s largest trading partner with more than $70 billion in two-way trade. More than 221,500 Michigan jobs are trade-related, including 1 in 7 jobs in west Michigan and 1 in 8 jobs in southeast Michigan.

Trade with Canada, however, is hampered by Detroit being “the biggest bottleneck in the entire Pan-American freeway system with no freeway-to-freeway connection,” the resolution says. The NITC will provide a “direct freeway-to-freeway connection that will attract more business to Michigan and provide a much-needed economic boost to the region.”

Detroit/Windsor Tunnel backs New Bridge

“Competition in any industry is healthy and we welcome the opportunity to bring in a new border crossing whenever that happens. And so what’s good for the region is good for the border, and for any border crossing that means more jobs.”

The US/Canadian Crossing of Choice for Today and Tomorrow for Passenger Vehicles — The Detroit Windsor Tunnel remains a conduit of economic opportunity

By Neal Belitsky

Over the past few years, the discussion about the border has been about building bridges, when in fact, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel has been an indispensable link between the United States and Canada for over 80 years. It is one of the 15 busiest border crossings with more than four million vehicles passing through the tunnel each year, including over 35,000 commercial trucks and buses.

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) recently released a study detailing the impact a new bridge will have on the region. While we know a new bridge will create thousands of jobs, the economic impact it will have on the region should not get lost on existing border crossings; jobs, an improved economy and population growth will benefit the Tunnel.
The Detroit Windsor Tunnel will continue to have a unique place in the market focusing on its prime markets- passenger vehicles, downtown to downtown and regional traffic. We will remain a viable competitor in the Detroit Windsor market.

The Detroit Windsor Tunnel plays an extremely important role in the economic health of our region. For example, thousands of people who work in Southeastern Michigan, including nurses and doctors, IT professionals, engineers and others rely on the Detroit Windsor Tunnel each day to get to work, to shop in area stores, eat in local restaurants and enjoy all the sports and entertainment venues our region has to offer.

In addition, families who live on both sides of the border rely on the Tunnel every day, to see each other. . And it is the conduit for the only international public transit system in the region, with Transit Windsor traveling through the tunnel on a regular basis with several stops in downtown Detroit, with more service during special events.

While millions of dollars will be invested to create new infrastructure, governments on both sides of the border should continue to reinvest in the region’s existing border infrastructure. For example $30 million in infrastructure improvements to the Tunnel’s Windsor plaza are scheduled to start in 2013.

The Tunnel is privately operated with the operator investing over $50 million in infrastructure, service, safety and security improvements over the past number of years. A recent example, is the $9 million (USD) invested in energy reduction, enhancements to U.S. Customs, expansion of the Detroit Plaza and the migration to electronic tolling.

These enhancements were made in an effort to prepare for our region’s growth. According to a new report released earlier this month by the BMO Financial Group, the Windsor economy is shifting in a positive direction. The City of Windsor, University of Windsor and Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation are all working to diversify the Windsor economy. While Windsor’s population has declined over the past few years, the city of Windsor is now home to exceptional entrepreneurial ventures, high tech industries and a solid agricultural base. In fact, new jobs, new investments and new opportunities to grow are happening on both sides of the border and the Detroit Windsor Tunnel is ready for the increase in cross-border travel.

Competition in any industry is healthy and we welcome the opportunity to bring in a new border crossing whenever that happens. And so what’s good for the region is good for the border, and for any border crossing that means more jobs.

As we prepare to celebrate the Detroit River Days, the Freedom Festival and commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, it is important to remind ourselves how unique Detroit really is. We may be two independent and democratic nations, but we are truly one region.

While The Detroit Windsor Tunnel may not be a visible part of Detroit or Windsor’s skyline, it has been a vital link in our region’s economy for almost a century and will remain a vital link for centuries to come.