New Route to Regional Development

A strategically located port authority and two private-sector organizations are collaborating to strengthen regional economic activity and expand the Michigan-Ontario border region's value as a logistics hub for international trade.

The Windsor Port Authority, Borealis Infrastructure and Canadian Pacific formed the Continental Rail Gateway coalition in June 2010.

This group's current project is a high-clearance replacement rail tunnel under the Detroit River that will add freight capacity and efficiency at a critical crossing between the world's two largest trade partners.

Need: The high-clearance replacement rail tunnel will be built near the existing rail tunnel. The current freight tunnel, which handles 22 – 25 freight trains per day, for an annual railcar volume of nearly 400,000 rail cars each year, opened in 1909 and remains in excellent condition.  However, it cannot handle double-stacked, nine-foot, six-inch (9’ 6”) containers and some new generations of multilevel rail cars used by shippers and auto manufacturers. The tunnel clearance was partically enlarged once in 1994 and can’t be further expanded.

Impact: The massive economic development project will create an estimated total of 1,700 -2,200 direct,  indirect, and induced jobs over the duration of development/construction, and make the region more competitive as a multimodal center between Canada's key ports, such as the Port of Montreal, and America's midwestern markets.  Manufacturers, agricultural shippers and other importers/exporters will benefit.