MP Not Surprised By Bridge Cost

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and members of the Howe family unveil the name of Windsor-Detroit's new bridge, May 14, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Estimating the new Windsor-Detroit bridge cost at par is a mistake that Windsor West MP Brian Masse says caused the project to be $3.5-billion more than expected.

“It’s not surprising to see the costs actually rise.”

It’s also a disadvantage, he says, that Canadian taxpayers have assumed all the risk and expense with the project.

“They want to do a public-private partnership. The Conservatives set the system up for that, the Liberals are supporting that,” Masse says. “And that’s one of the most expensive design-build projects you get because you have to build a profit model into it.”

Despite that, he says a new bridge is a necessity because it would cost the economy more long-term if the project was scrapped.

“We still need a border crossing because the trade is necessary and the improved crossing is necessary for us to be competitive,” he says. “And we’ve now invested billions of dollars of infrastructure money for a new highway system to finally actually connect the 401 to the new border crossing.”

Masse previously said the feds made a bad deal when agreeing to pay for the U.S. customs plaza.

He warns the cost could rise even more if the loonie falls further or the project is delayed.

The government has said the project is on schedule to be complete by 2020.