About 30 percent of the goods sold between the U.S. and Canada are trucked across the Detroit River. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel can’t handle tractor-trailers, leaving the 82-year-old Ambassador Bridge to handle all heavy truck traffic. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stated on August 21 that he is confident a state bridge authority will be in place by October to begin work on a $1 billion project to add a second span across the Detroit River between Michigan and Ontario.
The Michigan Senate’s Economic Development Committee is considering legislation to create a bridge authority that would call for bids on the project. The bridge would be owned publicly but financed, built and operated by a private contractor. Canadian officials have offered to advance $550 million to pay Michigan’s share of construction costs in a way that would protect Michigan taxpayers from liability. Meanwhile, the owner of the current bridge, Matty Maroun, continues to blanket Michigan and Ontario with inflammatory anti-bridge ads.