Reporting Kathryn Larson
DETROIT (WWJ) - Canada says the new International Bridge Crossing will happen and right now, Windsor is preparing for it by constructing a new 10 lane highway that will funnel into the mouth of the new crossing. WWJ’s Kathryn Larson has part two of the investigation.
In just six months time, all the homes and restaurants along a busy stretch of Huron Church Road were bought up and pummeled to the ground. Bulldozers dot the nearly seven mile gutted stretch of the new Windsor Essex Parkway, the major connector linking the two countries.
“We have a design builder who has a very aggressive schedule and we want to see this project put in place and operational as soon as possible,” said Garfield Dales, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation.
Dales said the 10 lane project is being done to ease Windsor’s truck traffic.
“Today, we’ve got a lot of traffic signals with these 10,000 trucks rumbling along here on Church Road. So really this is just an extension now of Highway 401, an important freeway for Ontario linking into Michigan,” said Dales.
The road will end with spouts to two bridges, the Ambassador Bridge and a yet-to-be-built international bridge crossing about two miles away.
Meantime, Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said Canada would never have forked over the $1.4 billion needed for the Parkway – without believing that bridge is only a few years away.
“The plaza location for the new bridge has been secured, the federal government has purchased that, and all they’re waiting for now is approval from Michigan to begin the work on the bridge,” said Francis.