Maybe with this approval they won't fight against the new span so much. The $1.5 Billion 401 extension is essentially a road to nowhere until it is built.
It's hard to imagine the old bridge being demolished. It's clearly a heritage structure, though it's merely listed as a heritage structure and not designated as such.
Approval doesn't mean a new Ambassador Bridge will be built. With the 401 extension completed and political support in Windsor for a new bridge to take the congestion off of city streets, it's unlikely that the government of Canada will back down from building the Gordie Howe bridge. It's the best solution for Canada. Trade will be more efficient with the direct highway connection. Windsor will be a better off without the current levels of traffic on Huron Church Road. With the Gordie Howe bridge handling most traffic and the Detroit Windsor Tunnel providing relief, what business case is there for a new Ambassador Bridge? The owner may not even get to demolish the heritage homes in the path of the new span that he boarded up on Indian Road.
I was reading that one of the conditions for this new Ambassador bridge is for the old bridge to be demolished within 5 years of opening the new span.They will keep the old structure operational in case of an emergency. Having the 3 crossings on 5 separate structures (2 bridges for both bridge crossings) gives enough redundancy in case of an emergency. Right now if there was a long-term shut-down of the Ambassador I would shudder at the economic consequences.
Right now they keep the hazardous materials off the bridge (there is another crossing..a ferry) to reduce the risk of a shut-down.
Its a bridge that out live is use and one reason a request was made in 2004 for a new one. Even the report states it.I was reading that one of the conditions for this new Ambassador bridge is for the old bridge to be demolished within 5 years of opening the new span.
And the land issues on the Detroit side have mostly been resolved. Residents displaced by the bridge approaches and customs facilities from Interstate 75 will be provided with renovated homes nearby.
The other issue, though, is that the Ambassador Bridge owner owns 17 properties in the path of the Gordie Howe bridge. He's doing whatever he can to avoid selling the land needed to build the Gordie Howe bridge. It's just a matter of time until the government gets control of it, but it means more delays and costs involved that only serve to prop up his bridge business.