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Blue Water Bridge Plaza Study

Improving plaza capacity and functionality at a critical link between neighboring countries

Border Crossing of Michigan & Ontario

The Blue Water Bridge is a critical gateway linking Canada and the United States. It spans the Saint Clair River and carries international traffic between Michigan and Ontario. An average of 14,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, with as many as 6,000 trucks on a heavy day.

We are part of a team selected by the Michigan Department of Transportation to provide capacity and systems improvements for the Plaza. These improvements are required to accommodate commercial and passenger traffic growth requiring preparation of a capital improvement plan. We prepared the Plaza analysis and design.

Coordinating with and satisfying the ever changing needs of all key stakeholders was a challenge. Although this port lacks the complication of pedestrian traffic and multiple state and federal agency involvement that other projects face, it was located in a prime commercial/residential area which brought its own set of challenges. City and public involvement played a large role, especially in the property acquisition process. Changes in staff, security regulations, and conflicts between agency requirements also played a role and were handled with good communication and documentation.

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