(Detroit) – After getting shot down last November by Michigan legislators, Governor Snyder ended up getting the bridge deal done anyway. Not only is the bridge going to be built, but Snyder was able to get it paid for completely by Canada, and was even able to get $2 billion in federal funds to be used repairing roads and bridges in Metro Detroit too.
It has been apparent for a long time now that Detroit needs another bridge to Canada because truck traffic on the Ambassador Bridge has been a logistical bottleneck for years, costing business in Detroit dearly, and clogging up the downtown and residential streets in Windsor with unwanted truck traffic.
Matty Maroun has successfully bribed legislators for years to keep that from happening, because he is the only person that would lose from having a second crossing. So to get around the crooked legislators, Governor Snyder struck a secret deal with the Government of Canada, whereby Michigan taxpayers would not be responsible for any of the cost, which meant Snyder didn’t need legislative approval to make it happen.
A couple of important facts about the deal:
- Michigan taxpayers will not be on the hook for any of the costs. Zero. The $550 million which is Michigan’s share, will be paid for completely by Canada, and recouped from tolls.
- Tolls will be collected in Canada for both directions of traffic, and managed by a separate authority.
- If tolls do not make up enough to cover the costs, Canada will pay the management company running the bridge out of their own funds.
- There will be a six-member international bridge authority which will consist of three representatives form Canada and three representatives from Michigan.
- Unlike the Ambassador Bridge, the new bridge will tie directly into the freeway systems in both countries. It will connect to I-75 here in Michigan, and to Highway 401 in Ontario.
To celebrate the historical deal, there was a public signing in Windsor in the morning, with another ceremony at Cobo Center in the afternoon. Attendees included Governor Snyder, Lt. Governor Calley, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Denis Lebel, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and even Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Despite this obvious win-win solution, everybody expects there to be lawsuits from Matty Maroun to try and obstruct the effort to break his monopoly. But in the end it won’t matter because this bridge will be built. Governor Snyder deserves a lot of credit for getting this done, and Republican legislators that sold their votes to Matty Maroun should be ashamed of themselves for trying to sell out Detroit.