Dear Editor,I have just read the comments of David Bradley, president of the OTA, in the August 2003 issue of Truck News.I have heard him says these things before, and once more, in this article, he's...
I have just read the comments of David Bradley, president of the OTA, in the August 2003 issue of Truck News.
I have heard him says these things before, and once more, in this article, he’s issuing a challenge to the private sector to build and solve the cross-border congestion situation by building additional infrastructure.
I want to very clearly reiterate, that there have been private sector proposals available for years, but governments have not listened and recognized the problem until our most recent crisis.
In particular, our consortium (that is, Mich-Can/Fluor/Bear Stearns and associated companies) had a proposal ready five years ago, to build, operate and transfer a new international bridge, connecting from the west end of the ECRow Expressway to I 75. Our proposal included a public overseeing board for the public/private partnership, and a reversion to public ownership upon re-payment of the bond issue.
Our proposed route is the least intrusive of any of the current proposals. Our financial package results in a basic “no cost to the taxpayer project,” depending on tax-exempt revenue bonds being sold in the open marketplace.
We stand ready, willing and able to proceed immediately, and are able, from experience, to construct a new bridge and approaches in 36 to 40 months from the time of approval. Approval is the key catchword. We can simplify the process by a negotiated contract that would give contractors and suppliers the opportunity to participate, but maintain the competitive contract.
We proposed this scenario to governments on both sides of the border, and the response was the Bi-National Study. We do not disagree with the Bi-National Study’s intentions, but feel that the time frame could be condensed considerably.
Unfortunately, it is the selfish intention of special interest groups to impede the process, which hinders the improvements to the existing system, to the detriment of the trucking industry.
Our trucking industry and its relationship to U.S. industry is one of the key elements of our standard of living and the prosperity of our economy. I challenge Mr. Bradley, in his position with the influence of the OTA, to carry our message of readiness to the decision-makers and assist in alleviating the roadblocks to our improving the cross-border infrastructure.
Review the Bi-National Study June report, you will see that the central corridor, our proposed route, is the most advantageous.
Ross Clarke, Managing Director
Mich-Canada International Bridge Co.
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