Chamber of Commerce backs new bridge to Canada
Michigan’s largest business organization has announced support for the New International Trade Crossing — a new publicly-owned but privately-financed and built bridge that would connect Detroit and Windsor south of the Ambassador Bridge.
The Detroit News reports that the Chamber endorsement gives a big boost for the coalition of business and labor groups that back the project and further isolates Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun, who has spent millions campaigning against the project.
[Gov. Rick Snyder] and business groups say the new bridge would clear a border bottleneck because it would have direct freeway connections on both sides of the river. Trucks that use the Ambassador Bridge must go through more than a dozen traffic lights in Windsor, Ontario, before reaching the freeway.
Another selling point is the backers’ insistence that the new public bridge will cost Michigan taxpayers nothing. Canada has offered to front Michigan’s $550 million share of the project costs and recover the money from the state’s share of bridge tolls.
The state Senate is considering legislation to authorize the bridge deal, but so far Republicans in the legislature have been generally unsupportive of the plan — missing a July 1 deadline set by the governor.