Gateway Project Opening Ceremony

Uploaded by MichiganDOT on 21.09.2012

NARRATOR: Today, Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez,
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle, and the Michigan Department of Transportation
celebrated the opening of the long-awaited Gateway Project in Detroit,
marking a major milestone towards the completion of an ambitious and vital project,
and the beginning of improved international travel and trade at the Ambassador Bridge.
BRIAN CALLEY: "In this part of our transportation system that serves a critical artery
between the two largest trade partners on planet Earth."
NARRATOR: In 2008, MDOT and the Detroit International Bridge Company, or DIBC, began a joint two-year, $230 million project
to get Ambassador Bridge border traffic off Detroit city streets,
and link the bridge directly to I-75 and I-96.
During construction, the DIBC deviated from the agreed-upon design of the project
and blocked Canada-bound vehicles from the dedicated roadway meant to provide direct access to the Ambassador Bridge
from the freeway ramps. This put federal funding for the project at risk,
leaving MDOT no choice but to challenge the DIBC in court.
After several years of court proceedings and appeals, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentis Edwards ruled in MDOT's favor.
On March 8, 2012, Judge Edwards ordered MDOT to assume control
of the DIBC's portion of the project. The DIBC was ordered to set aside $16 million to pay for the work.
MDOT immediately began an aggressive schedule to finally complete the Gateway.
The project was put out for competitive bidding as a design-build contract,
in which the awarded firm provides both the detailed design and construction with MDOT oversight.
On April 9, MDOT selected local contractor Dan's Excavating from Shelby Township,
who submitted the low bid of $9.4 million for the project.
KIRK STEUDLE: "Just steadfast leadership in pulling this team together.
It was absolutely my pleasure to make sure that we had
the full resources of the department to pull this off."
NARRATOR: The contractor and MDOT moved swiftly, putting a priority on completing the planned truck road,
which was finished and opened in mid-May. This immediately benefited the local community,
providing a dedicated roadway for the 10,000 trucks entering the U.S. from Canada each day,
effectively removing them from the neighborhood streets.
RASHIDA TLAIB: "If you do it right and you stick to the plan, you can get trucks out of local neighborhoods."
NARRATOR: This work was followed by relocating toll booths and completing the dedicated
roadway connecting the Ambassador Bridge to I-75 and I-96.
In addition to removing bridge traffic from local streets, these connections have made
bridge traffic flow safer and more efficient - the primary goal of the Gateway Project.
During construction, access was maintained at all times to the bridge and the plaza's duty-free facilities.
Completion of this $230 million investment supports improved commerce
and travel at this important crossing, a vital part of the largest international
trade partnership in the world.
VICTOR MENDEZ: "It's to improve access, and we do that through our interstate system throughout the entire nation.
This is an incredible project when you look at the impact it's going to have throughout the nation.
NARRATOR: For more information about the Gateway Project, visit the project Web site.