Obama administration grants state permit for bridge to Canada

The Obama Administration has approved for a second bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Canada.

Michigan has won approval from the Obama administration to build a second bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

A presidential permit awarded Friday by the U.S. Department of State allows Michigan and Canada to move forward with their span over the Detroit River. Construction could be finished in seven years, though lawsuits challenging the project have been filed by owners of the current border bridge, the Ambassador Bridge.

The key permit comes 10 months after Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper struck a deal by which Canada will pay for the bridge through tolls on the Canadian side. Canada has agreed to pay for Michigan's costs for the bridge, including an interstate linking the span to Interstate 75 on the American side.

It also comes five months after Michigan voters rejected an attempt by Ambassador Bridge owners to slow down or halt construction.

Gov. Snyder is lauding the U.S. government's approval of the bridge.

He said in a statement Friday that the crossing will create jobs and get Michigan-made products to market more quickly.

The State Department says granting the permit will "serve the national interest."