Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Border Stories

So many more interesting border tidbits of information for you


Oooo Oooo Oooo. Could this be the explanation as to why we have been hearing so much about Greenlink all of a sudden?

  • Detroit River International Crossing Study Announcement

    WINDSOR - Media are invited to join Minister Sandra Pupatello, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Windsor West, Minister Dwight Duncan, MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, and MPP Bruce Crozier, Essex, for a technical briefing on the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) study and a significant access road announcement.

    Date: Monday, August 24, 2009
    Time: 10:00 a.m. technical briefing
    10:30 a.m. formal media event.

It cannot be that significant if the Fed are not there considering they are to pay half the costs.


The poor fellow. Traffic keeps going down and down and down. The only thing that went up so far in his Windsor border career is the purchase price of the land at Brighton Beach.

I got it. These traffic figures are from the US. He can convert them into Canadian numbers just like converting dollars. That way the Cnadian numbers are higher!

  • NAFTA surface trade posts record y-y drop
    07/31/2009 Today's Trucking Online

    WASHINGTON -- The latest Canada-U.S. surface transportation trade numbers are in and it's more of the same.

    Land transportation trade between the two countries plummeted down 40.3 percent ($29.2 billion) in May compared to the same month 2008, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    Total trade between the U.S. and both its NAFTA partners, including Mexico, was down 35.4 percent from May 2008, the largest decline from the same month of the previous year on record.

    Surface transportation trade landed at $47.9 billion, making May the fifth consecutive month with a year-to-year decline greater than 27 percent.

    Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline. About 88 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves on land.

    Recent truck traffic numbers reported by Ontario-Michigan border crossings -- including the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor-Detroit, which carries nearly a quarter of all Canada-US trade -- corroborate that truck volumes have fallen steeply over the last year.


An interesting video to watch:

And the answer is no it is not. However, and this is a consideration when Governments run bridges as Windsor's famous, more than 4-500 KM away, foreign retained traffic guru can confirm:

  • "1. The Rust

    By the late seventies, the cash-strapped city had skimped on painting for decades, and rust never sleeps. In 1986, it was discovered that the four cables slung over the towers (made up of 9,472 wires each) were severely corroded. Some components of the anchorages, where the cables are pinned to the riverbank, were half-gone. “We came so close to losing the bridge,” Schwartz says (an emergency closure, repairs, and the institution of a strict preventive-maintenance program followed).


Why should a DRIC bridge be any different? Now you know why the 2013 completion date morphed into being only a "target" date.

  • "Toll-road lease tumbles in value
    Ailing operator denies talk that it might sell its stake

    Gov. Mitch Daniels expected his unprecedented $3.8 billion Indiana Toll Road lease to last 75 years. It may be tested after just three.

    The foreign companies that privatized the property haven’t escaped the global economic downturn. As a result, the value of their investments has plummeted. Now, as they labor to shed enormous debt loads, analysts and the financial media are abuzz that the Indiana Toll Road lease could change hands...

    The outlook for the state of Indiana might be least favorable under the status quo. That’s because the companies could try to dig themselves out of their financial hole by continuing to aggressively raise tolls...

    Retaining ownership might be the most appealing option for Macquarie and Cintra, since any sale likely would reap a fraction of what they paid. Recent write-downs by Macquarie suggest the same lease deal today could fetch as little as $445 million...

    The private operators, who thought they bought a cash cow, have already proven aggressive in hiking tolls. With so much invested, the companies have an incentive to milk the lease, taking advantage of language in the agreement that could permit annual toll increases of 5 percent or higher...

    In a June 2009 report on the state of U.S. toll roads, Moody’s Investors Service gave the industry a negative outlook for the next year to 18 months, noting weak economic conditions have flattened traffic growth...

    The report adds: “We are concerned that accelerated traffic declines and toll increases (needed to support increased debt issuance) could soften financial ratios and cause more ratings downgrades...”

    But if either Cintra or Macquarie sold now, they would be locking in huge losses. Macquarie subsidiary Macquarie Infrastructure Group has written down its stake repeatedly in the past year, most recently in July. The valuation for its stake is 61-percent less than it was a year ago and suggests the entire lease may be worth just $445 million on the open market."


  • "Tunnel Stake Sale Spurs CP to 2Q Gain

    Canadian Pacific Railway had a 1.7 percent gain in second quarter net income to $145 million by selling part of its share in the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership, but saw hefty declines in freight revenue and operating profit from the 2008 period."

Except OMERS bought its interest. Poor pensioners and taxpayers, I wonder how they feel about it!