Windsor construction group lands $50M Ambassador Bridge contract
Rich Garton, CTV Windsor
Published Wednesday, February 28, 2018 5:33PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:57PM EDT
A Windsor, Ont. company is cashing in on the recently approved second Ambassador Bridge span between Windsor and Detroit.
CTV News has learned TCI Titan Group has been awarded the $50-million contract to build the truck customs plaza, which will be located at the foot of the existing bridge.
“As we were awarded the project, I went and looked at the history of the bridge, and being part of what I think is a very monumental and historical build," said Art Ussoletti, president of TCI Titan Group.
The Detroit International Bridge Company received a permit from Transport Canada in September, which was considered the last major hurdle standing in the way of building a new bridge between the two countries at North America’s busiest border crossing. The project is intended to replace the nearly-90-year-old Ambassador Bridge.
Very early work is already underway, with the demolition of about 100 homes on Indian Road, where the new span will ultimately be located.
The truck customs plaza is considered a necessity because all secondary truck inspections are currently conducted off-site. Both the Canada Border Services Agency and the Bridge Company believes that’s a security risk. The off-site inspection facility is located about two kilometres down Huron Church Road on Industrial Drive.
"So that eliminates that whole need to escort and transport trucks further down into the corridor," said Ussoletti.
In consultation with the CBSA, a new, 9.5-acre plaza will be built just west of the new bridge.
Stan Korosec of the Bridge Company tells CTV News aside from a lot of surface paving and eight new customs booths, TCI Titan will also construct a stand-alone border services building.
"The building will be designed so that it fits in with the nature of the west end,” said Korosec. “It’s not a steel and glass type thing being designed. So it will fit in with the nature of historic Sandwich."
Ussoletti says he's already hired additional engineers and architects with more contractors and subcontractors to follow. He adds this phase is just one example of the huge economic impact this bridge will have on the region.
"That really lays into the Bridge Company's philosophy of keeping it local and keeping it Canadian so I think that's a huge factor," Ussoletti said.
More heavy construction is expected to begin within the next 30 days.
The privately-funded Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project is estimated to cost $1 billion. The Bridge Company says they want the new span open to traffic by 2020.