Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project - No Significant Environmental Impact Says U.S. Coast Guard Preliminary Finding



    
    Privately Funded Bridge Project Awaits Canadian Response
    
    WARREN, Mich., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Coast Guard
issued a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact on the Ambassador Bridge
Enhancement Project, the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC), owners
of the Ambassador Bridge, announced today. The Coast Guard, as lead federal
agency for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), determined that the
enhancement project will not introduce any significant impacts on the natural
or man-made environment within the project area. A number of federal and state
agencies coordinated efforts since 2007.
    

    
    "We are ready to complete our investment of approximately one billion
dollars for the enhancement project and to improve cross border connectivity
as soon as we receive final approvals of the Environmental Assessments from
the U.S. and Canada," said Dan Stamper, president of the Ambassador Bridge.
"No municipal, state, provincial or federal funds will be required, leaving
those dollars available to address other community needs."
    

    Thousands of Jobs Would be Created through Private Investment
    
    The Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project - financed exclusively by DIBC
- proposes complimenting the nearly 80-year-old existing bridge with a new
second span with six lanes of traffic. Development of the second span can be
commenced in 2009.  The project is expected to create more than 20,000 jobs
over the next two decades and nearly 4,000 jobs within the first year,
according to a study by the Andersen Economic Group. To date, DIBC has
invested approximately $500 million for a new customs plaza, improved traffic
connections and property at the bridge.
    

    
    In addition to the Coast Guard's final approval, the Ambassador Bridge
Enhancement Project for a six-lane, cable-stayed bridge has applied for
Canadian approval as well.  The application was submitted in 2006, but the
Canadian government has not demonstrated a commitment to process the project
in a timely manner.
    

    
    "We are frustrated that at a time when large infrastructure projects are
desperately needed to stimulate the economy and create immediate jobs, the
Canadian government is holding up this project," added Stamper.
    

    Canada Should Meet Its Financial Commitment to Improve Traffic
Connectivity
    
    The Canadian government has also not made good on its 2002 pledge to
invest $300 million to better connect the Ambassador Bridge to Interprovincial
401 in Ontario.  Based on this commitment, the U.S. is currently investing
more than $660 million to improve traffic connections to the Ambassador Bridge
and other existing crossings. The Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project, a $230
million publicly funded project creating a new interchange connecting the
existing bridge to I-75, I-96 and I-94 in Detroit, is already underway and
will be completed next year.  Additionally, the Michigan Department of
Transportation has proposed more than $430 million to improve the existing
Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron, Mich., and Sarnia, Ontario.
    

    
    The Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project required the Environmental
Assessment by the Coast Guard because the Detroit River is a navigable
waterway of the U.S. The Environmental Assessment review utilized Council on
Environmental Quality (CEQ) approved implementing instructions and
incorporated input from agencies including: the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Services, the International Joint Commission, Michigan Department of
Transportation - Bureau of Transportation Planning, the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the
Michigan State Historical Preservation Office, the Southeast Michigan Council
of Governments and the City of Detroit - Historical Commission.
    

    The Ambassador Bridge
    
    Built in 1929, the Ambassador Bridge stands between Detroit, Michigan and
Windsor, Ontario as an international symbol and link between the two
countries. It handles 26 percent of the trade between the two countries and is
one of the busiest international crossings in the U.S. The Ambassador Bridge
is privately owned by the Detroit International Bridge Company and The
Canadian Transit Company. The owners believe in the development and wellness
of the local community where their business is operated and continue to
support a variety of local organizations including Hospice, the Windsor
Symphony, the Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society and the University of
Windsor.
    
    www.ambassadorbridge.com



    




For further information:

For further information: Michael Waxman for the Detroit International
Bridge Company, +1-202-872-4860 ext. 238, mwaxman@hydeparkcomm.com Web Site:
http://www.ambassadorbridge.com/

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DETROIT INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE COMPANY

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