The US government has given long-awaited approval to the $533m expansion of Blue Water Bridge in Michigan and improvements to the I-94/I-69 corridor in Port Huron.

The approval is the last environmental clearance needed after seven years of consultation and public hearings.

Michigan Department of Transportation will now produce detailed plans for the design and right-of-way acquisition for the I-94/I-69 freeway corridor, replacement of the Black River Bridge and relocation of Pine Grove Avenue.

The construction work of the Blue Water Bridge may start in 2010.

MDOT director Kirk T Steudle said that many jobs will be created during the construction period.

“The Blue Water Bridge is a significant economic asset to the State of Michigan. We anticipate that activity on this $553m project will generate approximately 4,430 jobs during the construction period.”

MDOT plans to invite the pre-qualified contractors to workshops about the project.