Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, sponsor of the bridge legislation, said shortly after the Economic Development Committee rejected two versions of the proposal that he didn’t foresee a renewed effort to win passage in the near term.
“I’m done with it at this point. It’s unfortunate. An opportunity was missed” to create 20,000-40,000 jobs, Richardville was quoted by the Detroit Free Press. “But there are other things we should be talking about.”
Proponents say the proposed bridge over the Detroit River, two miles downstream of the 82-year-old Ambassador Bridge, would boost trade between the countries.
Geralyn Lasher, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder, who has made building a new bridge one of his top priorities, said after the vote that the committee’s decision was “extremely disappointing,” but declined to speculate on where the proposal would go from here.
Administration officials have hinted in the past that it might be possible to bypass the Legislature and greenlight the bridge by executive action. But they have not specified how that could be done, and said they preferred to have the endorsement of lawmakers.
Passage of the bill would have allowed the state to accept $550 million from the Canadian government to fund the country’s share of the New International Trade Crossing.
The main opposition to the NITC comes from the Ambassador Bridge’s owner, billionaire transportation executive Manuel “Matty” Moroun. He is reported to have made lavish campaign contributions to Republican members of the state legislature, and underwrote a statewide television campaign against the NITC.
Matthew Moroun, vice chairman of the Detroit International Bridge Co. and son of Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun, issued this statement after the vote.
“We applaud the committee for its efforts in acting as a jury in hearing all the facts. The Michigan Department of Transportation had a bad case to make as the bridge traffic reports and financial impact testimony before the committee clearly showed. Since 2006 when the initial effort to build this bridge began, the facts have proven it to be unjustified and unneeded. The Ambassador Bridge is the most efficient border crossing in North America and our mission remains to make it the absolute best border crossing. We look forward to working with the Governor and transportation officials in the future.”
The Ambassador Bridge company spent millions of dollars in the last six months in a campaign aimed at scuttling the new, government-owned bridge.
Highways: Related News
10/21/2011 – Michigan Senate Scuttles Plans for New Detroit-Windsor Bridge
Plans for a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., hit a dead end after the Michigan Senate rejected a $5.3 billion funding bill needed get construction started….
10/21/2011 – Toll Booth-, Transponder-free Tolling now Possible
TransCore has introduced ROVR, a GPS device with GSM communications that allows infrastructure-less tolling and includes an optional driver safety monitoring feature shown to dramatically reduce accidents, improve fuel economy, and decrease Greenhouse gases….
10/20/2011 – Colorado I-70 Speed Harmonization Test Considered Successful
Results from the second Rolling Speed Harmonization effort continues to demonstrate that it can be used to improve road safety, reduce crashes and ultimately improve traffic flow on Interstate 70 during heavier travel periods….
10/19/2011 – AASHTO Board Elects Reps from Michigan, Rhode Island
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Board of Directors have elected Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudle as the association’s president for the next year. Rhode Island Transportation Director Michael Lewis was elected AASHTO vice president….
10/17/2011 – Expect Major Delays through Snoqualmie Pass All This Week
Drivers will face delays of two hours or more on Snoqualmie Pass all this week. Crews will be closing one lane of eastbound Interstate 90 for six days straight as they prepare to open a brand new section of highway….
10/14/2011 – Ohio Turnpike Tolls Expected to Rise Jan. 1
Despite concerted opposition from trucking concerns and a proposed rate freeze, truckers could be about 10% more to use the Ohio Turnpike come the New Year. …
10/11/2011 – U.S. DOT Revokes Ohio Turnpike Privatization Study Funding
The Obama administration has reversed an earlier decision to provide $1.5 million to Ohio to study the economic benefits of privatizing the Ohio Turnpike….
10/11/2011 – Michigan Lawmakers Could Vote this Week on DRIC Bridge
State lawmakers may finally vote sometime this week on the Detroit River International Crossing, the proposed government-owned bridge linking Windsor and Detroit that would take commercial traffic off the aging Ambassador Bridge….
10/7/2011 – Detroit Windsor Bridge Plans Could Move Ahead Soon
There are high hope in Michigan that the proposal to build a new international bridge will take a step forward sometime this month….
10/7/2011 – I-29 in Southwest Iowa to Reopen Saturday
The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to reopen Interstate 29 at 10 a.m. tomorrow, from the Missouri state line to U.S. 34 (exit 32) near Pacific Junction. Interstate 29 in southwest Iowa has been closed since June 15….
10/4/2011 – Iowa DOT to Reopen I-29 in Southwest Iowa
The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to reopen Interstate 29 later this week from the Missouri state line to U.S. 34 (exit 32) near Pacific Junction. Portions of this section of the interstate have been closed since June 15….
10/4/2011 – Indiana, Kentucky Announce Plans For Sherman Minton Bridge Repairs
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said the two states have agreed on a solution to repair the Sherman Minton Bridge following three weeks of inspection, testing and analysis….
9/30/2011 – Mississippi River Bridge Project to Impact I-70 Traffic in St. Louis in Early October
Work on a new Mississippi River Bridge will significantly impact traffic in the downtown St. Louis area in early October, transportation authorities announced. Various closures are scheduled for bridge demolition and construction work….
9/27/2011 – Maryland Improving I-70/I-81 Interchange
The Maryland State Highway Administration kicked off a $4 million project to improve safety at the I-70 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway) and I-81 (Maryland Veterans Memorial Highway) interchange in Hagerstown….
9/26/2011 – I-29 in Iowa Reopened Between Council Bluffs and Loveland
The Iowa Department of Transportation reopened Interstate 29 from milepost 55 in Council Bluffs to milepost 71 near Loveland (I-680 interchange) Friday evening. The 16-mile stretch of interstate has been closed since June 9 due to the Missouri River flooding….
9/26/2011 – Indiana’s Sherman Minton Bridge Will Not Need Total Replacement
The Indiana Department of Transportation said a full replacement will not be needed for the closed Sherman Minton Bridge over the Ohio River….
9/26/2011 – Proposed Lincoln Legacy Act Would Turn Interstates Into Toll Roads
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., recently filed the House version of a bill offered earlier this summer by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. Both versions, S1300 and HR2971, that would covert interstate highways into toll roads….
9/23/2011 – Some Maryland Tolls to Double for Trucks
Maryland tolling officials approved a revised tolling plan this week after considering more than 4,000 comments received this summer; some truck tolls will double by July 2013….
9/22/2011 – ATRI, FHWA Name Chicago Intersection Most Congested
The intersection of I-290 at I-90/I-94 in Chicago is the most congested freight-significant highway interchange in the country, according to the new annual report from the American Transportation Research Institute and the Federal Highway Administration….
9/20/2011 – Virginia Gets Preliminary Approval to Toll I-95
The Federal Highway Administration has granted the Virginia Department of Transportation preliminary approval for Gov. Bob McDonnell’s plan to toll I-95 under the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program….
9/15/2011 – MoDOT Working to Get Flooded Routes Open
Missouri Department of Transportation has begun working to get flooded roads open as quickly as possible….
9/14/2011 – Iowa DOT Announces I-680 Flood Repair Plan
The Iowa Department of Transportation announced it will be undertaking a project to rebuild Interstate 680 in Pottawattamie County, which was severely damaged by the Missouri River flooding. The roadway has been closed since early June….
9/14/2011 – House Passes Short-Term Highway Funding Extension
The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday easily passed a short-term extension of highway funding through March 31….
9/12/2011 – Structural Defects Prompt Closure of I-64 Bridge Between Indiana and Kentucky
A nearly 50-year-old bridge taking I-64 across the Ohio River between New Albany, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., has been closed after cracks were found in two support beams….