The Michigan Department of Transportation last week put out a request for proposals seeking construction bids from companies interested in work on a new, $1.8 billion, bond-financed bridge across the Detroit River. The deadline for responses is March 17. 

MDOT director Kirk Steudle said the state hopes to have a public-private partnership on the bridge. Tax-exempt bonds financing the project would be backed with toll revenue.

“At this point, we are considering a model that would incorporate some participation by the private sector in financing, design, construction, engineering and maintenance,” Steudle said in a statement. “Although we have not yet finalized what that model will eventually look like, we know there are a number of teams out there eagerly anticipating the start of work on this historic project.”

The Detroit River International Crossing Project would build a second, public bridge to cross between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, the busiest trade route in the nation. It is a joint effort of the U.S. government, Canada, Michigan, and Windsor. It’s been the focus of years of debate, as the private company that runs the existing Ambassador Bridge is developing a replacement bridge just a few miles upriver from the proposed site of the DRIC bridge.

Detroit businessman Manuel Maroun, who owns the Ambassador Bridge and is moving forward with plans to build a replacement span, has sued Michigan and the U.S. government over their plans, saying their bridge would pose unfair competition to his privately operated company.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.