In a move that surprised many, the government of Canada this week gave the owners of the Ambassador Bridge permission to build a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit.
Canada, Ontario, and the city of Windsor have all had a contentious, even cantankerous, relationship with the Moroun family, which owns the Ambassador Bridge.
The Detroit International Bridge Company is the Moroun-owned entity that runs the bridge. It plans to build a new privately-owned six-lane bridge right next to the aging Ambassador. Once it's operating, the old Ambassador Bridge will be torn down.
But what will that mean for the publicly-funded Gordie Howe Bridge, which is planned to be built a couple of miles downstream from the Ambassador Bridge?
Andy Doctoroff, special projects adviser to the governor and the point person on the Gordie Howe International Bridge, joined Stateside today to answer that question.
“The fact of the matter is that the project has assumed all along that there will be two bridges at the Detroit-Windsor crossing, and that is still true," Doctoroff said. "And the way I see it, and I think the way we see it collectively, is that nothing has changed.”
Doctoroff says he's aware the bridges will be in competition, but adds that the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be a more efficient option for manufacturers because it will have connected freeways. "I think that logistics experts fully appreciate that just-in-time delivery is now a hallmark of modern manufacturing," he said. The Moroun family has made many attempts to stop construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. But Doctoroff says construction of the publicly-funded bridge is still moving "full steam ahead."
Listen above for the full conversation.