TORONTO – In last night’s State of the State address, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made it clear that building a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit, as recommended by the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) process, will be a key component of his economic renewal plan for Michigan. Snyder explained that as global demand for Michigan’s ports of entry increases, it is essential for trade and job growth that Michigan’s crossings be improved; the realization of the DRIC project is a key part of this plan.
“To satisfy growing demand, we must move forward towards building a bridge, a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor, The Detroit River International River Crossing,” proclaimed Snyder. “We will present a totally revamped and highly attractive economic development proposal including a recent agreement from Washington.”
Last year, a bill approving DRIC was not introduced or voted out of the state senate transportation committee before the Michigan legislative session adjourned. With Governor Snyder’s support, the DRIC legislation will be reintroduced and examined by the new lawmakers in office.
“This project isn’t just a Detroit issue. Every farmer and manufacturer in our state can tell you why it’s important to have world trade. This new bridge will create jobs, strengthen our economy, help establish Michigan as a hub for global commerce,” continued Snyder. “So let’s work together so this opportunity does not slip away.”
The project will be funded through a public-private partnership in which the Canadian government’s pledge of $550 million towards Michigan’s share of the cost will play a key part. Last week, Snyder reached an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration to use the $550 million investment towards the matching funds required for all federally funded highway projects.
Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) President David Bradley, a strong supporter of the DRIC proposal, welcomed the Governor’s remarks, saying “This is excellent news and I’m extremely pleased Governor Snyder has decided to make DRIC a priority for his administration. The prospects of getting the DRIC plan approved in the next few months are considerably strong today than they were yesterday.”
However, Bradley went on to caution that while the Governor’s support of DRIC certainly boosts the project’s outlook, it does not guarantee its success in the legislature. “There is still a lot of work to be done to get this through the House and Senate and OTA will continue to do everything in our power to help get DRIC through the Michigan Legislative process,” Bradley said. “But having the governor’s strong leadership hopefully will carry the day. While we’re taking nothing for granted, we’re very optimistic about the future of DRIC.”