Bloomberg Businessweek reported on data from the Canadian government that revealed the busiest crossing - the Ambassador Bridge, which takes drivers from Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario - currently sees 8,000 truck crossings per day. This number is expected to triple in the next three decades, making it critical for drivers to have an alternative route to travel.
Necessary bridge granted approval
Because the plentiful traffic in the area often leads to delays and backups, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has worked for several years to get approval to build a second bridge that would allow drivers to cross from Detroit to Windsor with fewer delays and encourage trade with companies across the border. The project was just recently granted approval by the American and Canadian governments and construction will likely begin in just a few years.
Ambassador Bridge owners protest project
Even though the bridge has received the go-ahead and Snyder is already planning for the project, not everyone is pleased with the decision. Detroit International Bridge Co., which controls the Ambassador Bridge, vocally opposed Snyder's initiative from the start, claiming a new crossing would be costly and unnecessary. According to Canada's The Windsor Star, the company has already filed lawsuits with multiple agencies in Washington opposing the bridge and claiming that thanks to government agreements from the 1920s, his company has the only rights to bridges from Detroit to Windsor. The source revealed the company has already filed lawsuits with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the state and the Canadian government.
It's unknown what impact this litigation will have, or even if it will be effective. Aside from the fact that the project has already received approval from both the American and Canadian governments, locals are thrilled the plan will create jobs and drivers are looking forward to crossing the bridge more quickly and wasting less fuel sitting in gridlocked traffic. If Detroit International Bridge's lawsuits fail to convince any judges that the proposed bridge violates any previous agreements, trucks will likely be able to use the new crossing by 2020.
Trucking companies are already tackling new border crossing complexities due to electronic manifest requirements currently imposed by U.S. Customs and about to be mandated by the Canadian Customs agency as well. The electronic filing of driver, vehicle and load identification information with the appropriate customs agency prior to truck border crossings is meant to speed paperwork review that is now part of increased border security measures. Many fleets have responded to the requirements by using their transportation management software to automate generation and transmission of all necessary information as part of the truck dispatch process.