Texas A&M Law Review

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In a world where global economies are increasingly interdependent, the United States, and its North American counterparts, Canada and Mexico, are booming sources of international trade. Now, more than ever, global competitiveness necessitates developments in U.S. infrastructure, especially at major border crossings where congestion and poor infrastructure create bottlenecks interfering with the free movement of goods. Questions pertaining to international border crossings circle the debate at the most crucial international border crossing in North America: the Ambassador Bridge, which spans the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. A legal battle rages over the proposed construction of a new publicly owned bridge that will compete with the eighty-six-year-old privately owned bridge. Many questions surround this topic, including whether the United States may allow the construction of a bridge that competes with a private individual’s livelihood. Is there a compelling case for a government taking in favor of public infrastructure? Should a private individual be able to own a major international border crossing? Additionally, in anticipation of construction of a new bridge, what will be the implications for the community that must give up its property to make way for the construction? This Comment will focus on the conflict over the construction of the New International Trade Crossing (NITC), also known as the “Bridge to the Future,” in competition with the Ambassador Bridge and its relevance to the conversation of border infrastructure. It will further demonstrate some of the pitfalls in the private ownership of an international border crossing—as well as some that inhere in government ownership—arguing for a new infrastructure model that promotes collaboration between the public and private sectors. Ultimately, this Article will argue that, like the NITC, future border infrastructure projects should be developed through the use of public-private partnerships (hereinafter “P3s”) to promote North American trade development.



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