DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit City Council is considering the transfer of 301 city-owned properties to the Michigan Land Bank in exchange for $1.4 million from the Canadian government as part of plans for a $2 billion international commuter bridge.
A special council session is scheduled for Monday morning.
Gov. Rick Snyder and Canada have agreed to build the New International Trade Crossing over the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
The new span would cross the Detroit River about two miles south of the Ambassador Bridge, from the Brighton Beach neighborhood in Windsor to the Delray neighborhood in Detroit.
Canada is paying most of the $2 billion project’s cost on both sides of the border and plans to recoup the money through tolls. Officials say they hope to open the bridge in 2020.
The U.S. State Department approved the project just over a year ago, but construction hasn’t started yet.
The project is opposed by the owner of the existing Ambassador Bridge, Manuel “Matty” Moroun, whose family wants to build its own second span. Records show the Moroun family has spent over $1 million since 2009 in their fight to stop a new government-owned span.
An estimated 2.7 million trucks pass through the Detroit-Windsor crossing, carrying $120-billion worth of goods annually.
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