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Heard on Morning Edition

Are Two New Detroit River Bridges One Too Many?

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Image credit: Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

Operators Association says there may not be enough traffic for two bridges

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New data show traffic at Detroit’s international crossings is stagnant. Year-to-year statistics compiled by the Bridge and Tunnel Operators Association show little change with just over 4 million passenger cars crossing each, the Ambassador Bridge, and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.  President of the B-T-O Association, Ron Rienas says based on trends since 9-11, there is little demand for an additional Detroit River crossing. 

In 2000 there was about 3.5 million trucks that crossed the Ambassador Bridge. That number (has) reduced by about a million trucks. So that’s about a 27% decline. And car traffic declined as well. Bridge traffic declined by 50%, tunnel traffic declined by 50%” -Ron Rienas, President BTOA

Rienas says stricter crossing requirements for passenger cars and changes to the auto industry contributed to the decline in traffic. He says Laredo, Texas is now the busiest border crossing in North America. Rienas says an additional crossing at the Detroit River is probably unnecessary.

Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation between Ron Rienas and WDET’s Amy Miller

The graphs below show traffic patterns year-to-year



Amy Miller, Reporter/Producer

Amy has been working in public and commercial radio for the last 30 yrs. She is an award winning reporter and news anchor, born and raised in Detroit. Follow @wdetamy

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