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New Michigan-Canada bridge approved

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ERIE, MI (Toledo News Now) -

Michigan has won federal approval to build a second bridge between Detroit and Canada.

The approval comes 10 months after Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper struck a deal calling for Canada to pay for the bridge.

The new bridge will be built south of the existing Ambassador Bridge, and is expected to cost $2.1 billion.

Canadian trucker Walter Able says the bridge is definitely needed. He's tired of the congestion he repeatedly encounters crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor.

"Anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours on that bridge," he said. "Time is money for a trucker."

The Canadian government pointed out that one quarter of all U.S./Canada trade - which is the world's largest two way trading relationship - crosses at Windsor/Detroit. The new bridge will speed up trade at what is the busiest border crossing.

"There's a real need for that bridge, and anything we can do in this state to promote travel from one side to the other, let's do it and get revenue going for our state," said trucker Carl Koch.

Another trucker, Ken Middling, disagrees.

"We got two bridges already," he said. "One over here, one in Port Huron. Why do we need two?"

Construction of the new bridge could start by 2016 and be finished by 2020.

The only hang-up could come in the courts. Lawsuits challenging the project have been filed by owners of the Ambassador Bridge.

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