Deal to build Detroit bridge plaza is near: a top U.S. official says

Deal to build Detroit bridge plaza is near: a top U.S. official says

A deal is close to fund a $250-million customs plaza required for a planned Detroit River bridge crossing, the Obama administration’s top homeland security official said.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Lansing, said in a recent interview that she expected the Canadian government would agree to finance the U.S. customs plaza. Toll revenue would be used to reimburse the Canadian government for advancing the funds.

Speaking about the planned Detroit River bridge crossing, Stabenow said, “I think we should give a big thanks for the Canadians being willing to step up. … We have a very willing partner. I don’t see other realistic options at this point.”

Cited an unnamed Canadian government source, Canada’s Globe & Mail newspaper reported on Tuesday that tolls from vehicles would be used to pay for the $250 million toll plaza under the proposed deal that is under consideration by Ottawa, Washington and Michigan state authorities.

The Canadian government could also pay the money up front to make sure it would not miss a scheduled 2020 completion of the New International Trade Crossing over the Detroit River.

The New International Trade Crossing, which would connect the Canadian City of Windsor with Michigan’s Motor City, would be a second span over the Detroit River. The Canadian government in partnership with private contractors is ready to provide at least $1.8 billion for the project.

Stabenow added that there had been discussions about making a formal announcement sometime next month.

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