WINDSOR— According to various media reports, Canada and Michigan may be ready to announce an agreement to build a second bridge between Detroit and Windsor.
That announcement on the proposed bridge — named New International Trade Crossing (NITC) — could come as early as Friday morning, reported the Detroit Free Press.
The new deal will reportedly use an interlocal agreement to help sidestep Lansing lawmakers who were worried that Michigan taxpayers would be stuck with the bill. An interlocal agreement allows two government agencies to share budgets to meet a common goal that provides services to the public, like parks and transit systems, or in this case, a bridge.
The agreement would allow Canada to lend Michigan $550 million to build its side of the bridge, which would then be repaid through tolls. Michigan would not have to make a major financial investment.
Resistence is still expected from Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun, who has proven a formidable adversary to Snyder and NITC bridge supporters. Moroun is concerned that the NITC would pilfer the majority of traffic that uses his 83-year old bridge. Moroun is currently collecting signatures for a referendum that would put the issue onto Michigan’s November election ballot.
Moroun would like to build a second span next to the Ambassador, a plan that the Canadian government is opposed to.
While Moroun has claimed that bridge traffic has dropped 50 percent over the last 10 years, Transport Canada expects truck traffic to triple over the next 30 years.
Canada estimates that the Windsor-Detroit crossing sees more than $130 billion in shipments and 8,000 trucks crossing the border each day.
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