The U.S. Department of State has OK’d the construction of a bridge crossing that will link Detroit, Mich., and Windsor, Ontario. The presidential permit was approved almost one year after the state of Michigan submitted an application for the New International Trade Crossing, or NITC.
“This is all about jobs for today and tomorrow,” Detroit Gov. Rick Snyder said in a news release. “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.”
Snyder is scheduled to hold a news conference in Detroit Friday afternoon officially announcing the issuance of the permit, which was detailed in a media advisory by the State Department early Friday morning.
The building of the crossing is expected to provoke strong opposition, mainly from Manuel "Matty" Moroun, who owns the 84-year-old Ambassador Bridge.
Moroun has reportedly argued that the rival bridge is unnecessary given traffic loads, as well as the fact that it allegedly violates his exclusive franchise to operate an international bridge between Detroit and Windsor, granted by legislation passed in Congress and Parliament in 1921.
Despite going as far as to request an injunction to block the presidential permit, the State Department said in its statement that the bridge “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,” it said.