FHWA allows MDOT to proceed with Gateway project
Jeff Cranson, Director of Communications, 517-335-3084
January 25, 2012 -- Nearly six years after entering into an agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) regarding the Gateway project in Detroit, the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) has conveyed the land needed for an elevated ramp to allow trucks coming from Canada to exit the Ambassador Bridge and enter Michigan freeways without clogging neighborhood streets. The property was conveyed last month to the State of Michigan and today the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) gave the state the go-ahead to build the ramp. The state is expediting a contract for the work, which should begin in several weeks and be completed before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
FHWA originally would not allow the state to build the ramp until all the property associated with the Gateway project was conveyed to the state. The FHWA is allowing the state to proceed with the construction of the bridge support while the legal process continues to compel the DIBC to honor its contract with the state and complete its portion of the larger Gateway project.
The work announced today was part of the original freeway construction contract but was held up for several years waiting for the DIBC to convey the property needed to construct the final bridge connection.
"I want to thank the Federal Highway Administration's Michigan Division for the flexibility to allow MDOT to move forward while we continue to work through the courts to ensure the bridge company meets all of the terms it agreed to in the contract," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "We look forward to the bridge company completing its part of the Gateway project as promised to improve the flow of passenger vehicle and commercial traffic at the border and improve the quality of life for the residents of southwest Detroit."
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