The project, known as the New International Trade Crossing, will span the Detroit River. Canada is in charge of building the bridge and paying for it.
U.S. and Canadian project teams have called even that seven-year time table "aggressive but achievable," the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.
"We acknowledge that our estimated timeline of opening the NITC to traffic in 2020 is ambitious," said Jeff Cranson, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. "But that's because it is so vital to the economy of the state, the region and our two nations."
Gregg Ward, vice president of the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, told the newspaper Canadian officials have the get it one ahead of time.
"I think people fail to understand that Canada will be in charge of the delivery of this project, and their motivation is huge to get it done and for it to be operational," Ward said.
A key piece needed to get going is a presidential permit from the U.S. government, which bridge proponents say they expect to get in early 2013.