Big Deals: New Bridge to Link Detroit and Windsor

The agreement to build a new Detroit-Windsor bridge, which Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to in an announcement on Friday as “a great act of confidence in the future of the North American economy,” is set to speed up trade between Canada and the US.
The Canadian government is fronting Michigan its $550 million share of the construction, with toll collection to repay the costs. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Terms of the deal call for the Canadian government to establish a “Crossing Authority” that will be responsible for building and operating the new bridge in partnership with a private entity… The contractor will be selected by a new international authority with three members each from Michigan and Canada.

As part of the agreement, all iron and steel for the project must come from either Canada or the US. Canadian steel mills produce the plate and concrete reinforcing bar that will be used in the bridge, but the main structural support beams will likely come from US mills, according to a story in The Globe and Mail.

Lexpert previously published a description of the deal to design, build and finance the Windsor-Essex Parkway, which will link the new bridge to Highway 401 in Ontario. That deal was the first civil infrastructure project to be done in Ontario using the PPP model.

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