News about the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) has been quiet but that doesn’t equate to a lack of progress. At a recent MDOT/ASCE meeting, an update on the progress of the NITC was provided by Andrew Doctoroff, Senior Advisor, Transportation Initiatives for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Michigan Strategic Fund (MEDC), and Mohammed Alghurabi, Senior Project Manager, MDOT.
The new bridge, once completed, will represent more than just another border crossing, it will be a catalyst for Michigan’s economic development. Over the past few years, MEDC and MDOT have been working on a transportation distribution and logistic study to determine how to maximize the effectiveness of the new crossing and expand Michigan’s commerce hub. This has the possibility to attract new industries and manufacturing companies to Michigan.
Even though you might not see any construction beginning on the NITC, there has been a considerable amount of work ensuing.
MDOT is currently working with the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority on right-of-way acquisition procedures while performing an array of property title searches. The permitting process is nearly complete as all applicable MDEQ have been obtained and the U.S. Coast Guard permit process is nearing its final stages. The Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority is currently performing subsurface geotechnical investigation.
In addition to the positive movement, both governments continue to battle the coalition that is opposed to the NITC. Currently there are seven open court cases in Michigan alone trying to stop the construction of the bridge with several other active cases in Canada.
To assist with the planning, design, and construction phase, a P3 expert has been consulted with to offer guidance and direction.
A few key upcoming milestones are as follows:
November 20, 2013 – Canada to present business case to their Parliament for authorization to start spending money for project. Operationalize the two authorities (Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority and International Authority) by the end of the calendar year.
2014-2015 - Acquire Land and work with Canada to draft RFQ/RFP 2015 – Publish RFQ and RFP 2016 – Begin construction 2020 – NITC open to traffic
Due to the fact that the bridge can yield $2.2 billion in federal-aid, the entire process requires intimate involvement by MDOT to ensure all federal requirements are satisfied. However, the final details of what the process will resemble have yet to be determined.
If you have any questions or comments contact Doug Needham at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the MITA office at 517-347-8336.