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Baby Steps Toward Windsor-Detroit Bridge

WINDSOR, ON— The long awaited, publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) now has an appointed team to oversee its construction.

Canada’s federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the appointments of:

  • Kristine Burr (who will also serve as Chairperson of the International Authority);
  • Geneviève Gagnon;
  • Michael D. Hayes;
  • Birgit M. Klohs;
  • Matt Rizik.

A third Canadian member will join the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) in the near future.

The International Authority will oversee and approve key steps in the construction progress of the new bridge. It will also monitor the compliance of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority with the Crossing Agreement signed by Canada and Michigan.

Minister Raitt also announced appointments to the Board of Directors of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority:

  • President and CEO: Michele “Michael” Cautillo;
  • Chairperson: Mark McQueen;
  • Director: William Graham;
  • Director: Caroline Mulroney Lapham (daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney).

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority will manage the process for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new bridge through a public-private partnership. It will also oversee the work of the public-private partnership and set and collect tolls.

 “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,” Minister Raitt said. “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.”

As it stands now, the DRIC bridge has almost all the permits needed to begin construction, including a U.S. presidential permit from the Obama administration. The DRIC still needs to get some state permits in Michigan, which assess water impact issues.

The Canadian federal government and its private sector partners have agreed to pay about $3.4 billion for feeder roads, plazas, the bridge crossing and other costs, but a $250-million U.S. Customs plaza on the U.S. side remains the only significant expense sill not covered. 

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