Friday, April 12, 2013

Bridge Over the River Detroit

Surprise--despite determined efforts to stop the process, the US has pushed through approval for the new Detroit-Windsor Bridge.  As you may know the new bridge is opposed by Matty Maroun, who controls much of the current cross-border traffic between these two cities via his ownership of the Ambassador Bridge. From the WSJ blog:
The Detroit-Windsor bridge would be the third international connections between the two cities, joining the 84-year-old Ambassador Bridge and the 83-year-old Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Those two links are the busiest, and second-busiest, border crossings in North America, respectively, funneling tourists and trade between the two countries.
Canada agreed last year to provide as much as $550 million to build the new six-lane bridge, which would relieve congestion at the border. Under the deal, the private sector will cover the rest of the costs, sparing the already stretched Michigan taxpayers from having to pony up. 
The cross-border financing deal was a big issue and Maroun wanted to take the question to voters via a referendum with the help of some sympathetic funders, but apparently, he failed. Of course, there is the matter of staffing all the booths--that's going to be tough on the US side given sequester-driven cuts.

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