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DRTP moving ahead with new rail tunnel (con't)

Homeowners in south Windsor protested what they said would be the negative environmental impact of trucks along an exclusive right of way near their neighbourhoods.

That proposal is long dead.

Meanwhile the DRTP partners have been moving forward with a plan to build an entirely new rail tunnel under the Detroit River so that larger train cars could use the Windsor-Detroit crossing.

“We’re not going to end up with two rail tunnels,” Rohrer says. “We’re replacing the one that’s been there for 101 years.”

OMERS has an 83.5 per cent stake in the DRTP with CPR having the remaining amount.

OMERS’s stake in the project is through its Borealis Infrastructure management arm.

The tunnel would be built either immediately east or west of the existing tunnel, Rohrer says, “in the current alignment.”

The company already has a permit to construct on the U.S. side.

“But there is a Canadian process to this as well,” he said.

The project still goes by the name DRTP although there could be a name change.

Rohrer says details will be forthcoming at the end of March.

“Stay tuned,” he said. “You got me about two weeks too early.”

A new project web site is also being constructed.

The new larger tunnel would likely cost in excess of $400 million.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have been arguing against building the new vehicular border route known as the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC).

DRIC would get truck traffic off city streets and put it on an approximately 15-km access road linked to a new bridge to Detroit.

Environmentalists say truck traffic is down and DRIC is not an environmental solution because trucks burn a high amount of carbon –based fuel.

They say intermodal and rail transport are better solutions. Rohrer says the DRTP had “no comment” about the DRIC process.

“We have no horse in the DRIC race.”

But Rohrer said rail is acknowledged as an environmental solution.

“There’s no argument against the fact that rail is a green alternative.”

He said that any new rail tunnel will be “good news” for the region.

“It’s going to put people to work.”


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