New Detroit bridge to Canada formally announced

(WXYZ) - Governor Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined together in Windsor Friday for the formal announcement detailing plans to build a new Detroit bridge to Canada.

"This agreement is about more than building a bridge," Snyder said. "It's about building a future of economic strength and security for families across our entire state. The NITC will help Michigan farmers, entrepreneurs and manufacturers get their goods to market faster, as well as develop new customer bases. It also prepares southeastern Michigan to become a global transportation hub when coupled with the region's other assets. Equally important, this agreement is a great illustration of the power of partnerships."

About 10,000 jobs are expected to be created on the Michigan side, according to Snyder's office.

Governor Snyder and the Prime Minister also appeared together at a signing ceremony at Cobo Center in Detroit.

A second bridge to Canada has long been a contentious issue in the area.

Matty Moroun, who owns the Ambassador Bridge, has spent millions on a campaign to stop a a publicly owned second bridge from being built. His company wants to build a twin span to the Ambassador Bridge, but Canadian officials have said that is not an option.

Large companies like Ford Motor Company and Chrysler have both come out in support  of a new bridge, saying congestion is slowing down the supply chain, which is ultimately hurting business.

Snyder says Michigan taxpayers will not foot the bill.

Canada will provide Michigan with $550 million to pay for Michigan's share of the project. Canada will collect all tolls to pay the debt.

The price of the tolls has not been set.

The new bridge will be roughly two miles downriver from the Ambassador Bridge.

The bridge will connect highways in Detroit to a highway in Ontario, bypassing the congestion of downtown Windsor.

Canada has already begun working on its access roads. It is unclear when groundbreaking will begin on the Michigan side.

Once construction begins, it will take four to five years to complete the new bridge.

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