What's the business case for second Detroit bridge?

Editor's note: Gov. Rick Snyder joined Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last Friday to announce a formal deal to start construction on a second bridge linking Detroit to Windsor, Ontario.

Snyder announced his support for the span in his first weeks as governor in 2011. Michigan's share of the construction costs -- $550 million -- will be initially covered by the Canadian government and recouped via tolls levied on vehicles crossing the bridge.

The "interlocal agreement" sidesteps the Michigan Legislature, which had chosen not to act on the bridge proposal, which has been strongly opposed by the Moroun family, owners of the Ambassador Bridge, the only span now linking Detroit with Windsor.

The Canadian government estimates truck traffic will triple over the next 30 years.

The Detroit-Windsor corridor carries about 25 percent of the trade between the U.S. and Canada each day.

In December 2011, at the height of the political debate over the proposal, Bridge Magazine asked business and trade experts about the case for a second Detroit-Windsor span:

The governor wanted a bridge. The business community said it would help the economy. Studies were ordered and a bridge authority formed.

The bridge opened for traffic – 23 years later.

The Mackinac Bridge, joining Michigan’s two peninsulas and associated so closely with the state that its image is emblazoned on license plates and a U.S. quarter, may seem like a no-brainer today, but not for much of the last century.

Such stories make Trien Ngyuen philosophical about the squabbling over construction of another bridge, a second span to link Detroit with Windsor,Ontario. “Like any big public works projects,” said Nguyen, economics professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, “there’s always resistance because different groups have different interests.”

The proposed bridge -- now known as the New International Trade Crossing -- is the most visible piece of a complex economic puzzle that many business and political leaders hope will reshape Michigan’s economy. This week, Bridge Magazine (no relation to the proposed bridge) examines a variety of proposals that have the same goal: increasing Michigan’s role in global trade "by land, by sea, by air."

About this project

A second Detroit-Windsor bridge may be the most famous, or infamous, transportation proposal in Michigan at the moment, but it is most certainly not the only one. A constellation of business interests, academics and state and local entities are trying to reshape SE Michigan's connections to the globe and, in the process, make the area a global nexus for trade.

Coming Thursday: What is an 'aerotropolis?'

Is Michigan's future prosperity dependent on the dockyard cranes of Nova Scotia?

How tall does a railroad tunnel need to be these days?

What’s unusual about the bridge is that those fighting each other have the same interest -- building a new span across the Detroit River.

Gov. Rick Snyder and business groups support a public bridge, paid for primarily by the U.S. and Canadian governments, and located to the southwest of downtown Detroit. Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun and his family want to build and own the second span, constructed next to the Ambassador. The Canadians have said they do not want a second span at the Ambassador site, preferring the NITC location on the grounds of relieving traffic congestion in Windsor.

Moroun has fought a years-long battle with Govs. Jennifer Granholm and Rick Snyder and much of the state’s business community over a second span, spending heavily on TV ads and lobbying in Lansing. Earlier this fall, a Senate committee killed bridge legislation, ending, at least for now, efforts to build the span with public dollars. After that vote, Snyder said both sides needed a “cooling down” period to find “common ground.”

Bridge Magazine did not contact Moroun or Snyder for this story. Instead of rehashing the political debate, Bridge decided to focus on a more basic question: What role would a second bridge play in the growth of international trade?

Michigan has more trade with Canada than any other state. In September alone, the value of trade between Michigan and Canada, shipped by truck and rail, totaled $5.9 billion. Imports were up 13 percent from September 2010, and exports up 9 percent.

Much of that trade comes and goes from Michigan on 18 wheels. Detroit is the top truck border crossing in the nation; Buffalo-Niagara Falls is second; and Port Huron's Blue Water Bridge is third. About 25 percent of all freight traffic between Canada and the United States drives across the Ambassador Bridge, 7,300 trucks a day in 2010.

Delays at the Ambassador can create a bottleneck for Michigan’s auto plants, which rely on just-in-time delivery. Border crossings are vital to Michigan’s auto companies, which ship parts back and forth across the Canadian border multiple times during the manufacturing. In 2010,Canada shipped $29 billion in automotive parts (and assembled vehicles) toMichigan; and Michigan sent $13 billion to Canada.

“Plants don’t keep more than 3-4 hours of inventory,” said Sean McAlinden*, of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. “If new inventory doesn’t arrive on time, they shut down.” (The official NITC advocacy site lists Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota among supporters of its plans.)

GM used to have a seat manufacturing plant in Canada that supplied an assembly plant in Hamtramck. The company used to station a worker on the roof of the factory with binoculars to watch for backups on the Ambassador, recalled McAlinden. GM also rented barges along the Detroit Riverto move parts from Canadato the United States, in case the bridge shut down, McAlinden said.

The fear of those kinds of delays has been a major argument used by those supporting a new bridge. But delays on the Ambassador costing GM, Ford and Chrysler money? McAlinden doesn’t know.

“We’ve asked the auto companies and we can’t get the information,” he said. “Short of standing on the bridge with a stopwatch, there’s no good way to find out.”

McAlinden suggests that bigger delays occur from the “14 traffic lights and two Tim Hortons” on the Canadian approach to the bridge, as well as from security checks.

Transits decrease

A second span isn’t needed at the moment to handle extra traffic – the number of cars and trucks crossing the Ambassador Bridge has dropped by almost 40 percent since 1999.

Day travel plummeted after 9/11 when more identification was needed to cross the border. The Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which primarily carries passenger vehicles, has seen its traffic count cut by more than 50 percent.

Truck traffic, though, was barely affected by 9/11. Trucks crossing Michigan’s four links to Canada (the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in Detroit, the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron and the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge) continued to inch upward through 2005, despite new security, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Since then, though, truck traffic has dropped 20 percent, with traffic now at 1997 levels.

If freight traffic crossing the Ambassador is lower, and there’s no reliable data on the cost of delays, why is a new bridge (with a price tag of $2.2 billion for the proposed public bridge and $500 million for the Moroun bridge) needed?

One good argument is a look at the Ambassador itself. The Ambassador is 82 years old. That’s long in the tooth for a bridge. By comparison, the two spans of the Blue Water Bridge were opened in 1938 and 1997.

“I’m not worried about it falling into the river. But it’s been there for 82 years, and it’s not the easiest way to transport goods any longer,” said Andy Johnston, vice president for governmental affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, which has been an outspoken supporter of the public bridge option. Adding a second span, he said,  “is critical to our national security and economic security.”

Doug Smith, senior vice president of strategic programs at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., argues that Michigan needs to take the long view of the value of a bridge that would take years to build and could be in use for the rest of the century. “The bridge is really long-term infrastructure,” Smith said. “It’s an opportunity to build off one of our assets – international crossings.”

Those crossings are likely to become busier in the future as Canada expands its port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so that it can service the next generation of mega-container ships that carry cargo around the globe. Much of that freight will be headed for the United States, and Michigan wants to maintain its status as the primary U.S. entry point from Canada.

“The more free-flowing the traffic, the more traffic we’ll get,” Smith said.

“People think they don’t cross the bridge, so they don’t need it,” said Gregg Ward, vice president of the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, which moves hazardous materials across the border that aren’t allowed on the bridge. “They should care, because it affects them economically. The more efficient our transportation, the more efficient our economy.”

Ward's argument for second bridge in Detroit is redundancy: If one bridge is shut down, by an accident or for repairs, traffic can be rerouted to the other span.

“You need redundancy in your transportation to attract companies,” Ward explained. Without it, “you’re asking a company to make an investment in our area and be dependent on one privately owned company.”

Ken Boyer, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, noted the second bridge can’t be justified by traffic levels.

“The automobile industry is by far the biggest industrial user of the bridge, and its shrinkage is primarily responsible for the reduction in truck traffic,” Boyer said. “My sense is that the major reason that the Michigan manufacturing community wants a publicly owned bridge is that they do not want future investments in the area to be at the mercy of a private individual making profit-maximizing calculations for the use of a critical piece of infrastructure. A rational investor would be wary about committing capital under those circumstances.”

Pushing bridge as state asset

As they assess the claims and counter-claims, Michigan residents need to remember they live in a “cul-de-sac state” -- traffic is not going to flow through Michigan without a good reason. The exception is Michigan’s international crossings.

“Anything that can be done to facilitate border crossing -- through lower tolls, faster customs clearance, less congestion -- would help to diminish some of drag on the economy that we get by not being as well-connected to the rest of the world as Chicago or Louisville or Kansas City or Memphis,” Boyer explained.

Even the legislature in Ohio, a state that sends and receives goods across the Ambassador Bridge, passed a resolution urging Michigan to build a second bridge in Detroit.

Delray neighborhood has hopes, worries for a new bridge

“This isn’t rocket science – it’s not a big deal to build a bridge,” Ward said. “But we’ve made it a big deal.”

The Michigan public, which was targeted by millions of dollars in ads opposing the NITC bridge,  isn’t as sold on the idea as business leaders. A recent poll found that 59 percent of Michigan residents were opposed to the NITC plan, with only 30 percent in favor.

“People (in Michigan) don’t see how (trade with Canada) affects their lives,” said Smith. “Canadians are much more knowledgeable about how much of their economy is driven by international trade. Americans are less aware. We’re in a global world. We haven’t educated people about what that means.”

In a state that took 23 years to build a bridge to join its two peninsulas, that may take some time.

* Correction: Sean McAlinden's name was misspelled in the original post of this story.

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Don O'Connell
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 8:50am
The article notes that the public is not as sold on the new bridge. Does that have anything to do with more than $5 million being spent to presaude their opinion and nothing being spent to provide a counter view? What was the public"s opinion when balanced information was provided?
Rich Robinson
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 9:25am
There is a national security argument to be made for a new bridge owned by a public authority. The Windsor-Detroit crossing is a critically important commercial border crossing. It would be stupid national security decision to leave the fate of that crossing in the hands of a rogue individual actor. The objection to the Morouns controlling the border crossing is not simply an objection to them collecting monopoly rents.
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 9:46am
There is no business case for a DRIC project that would cost many times more than the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement project. DRIC requires massive taxpayer involvment on both sides of the border. The Mackinac Bridge required government subsidization. If the twinned Blue Water Bridge had been a P3 when built, it would be in financial difficulty today since the traffic has dropped so much from projections. The DRIC consultants' projections have been consistently overestimated for years as have other traffic projections by governments. No one has proven to date that a DRIC project could be financially viable because traffic has dropped 40% since its peak a decade ago. One of the serious foreign P3 operators, Macquarie, in its response to the MDOT/Transport Canada RFPOI on the DRIC project stated: "In the past, it has been our experience that most PPPs have been designed with availability payment structures since the services provided by the private sector to the public could not be charged to the user (e.g. hospitals, courthouses, jails, nontolled highways, schools, etc.). However, volume deals are practical if the private sector has a source of revenue other than the government. Such assets include toll roads, airports, and utilities where end users pay for the services provided by the private sector. This Project could employ a user charge for the use of the bridge. However, a few specific conditions need to be in place for this structure to work: a. The asset or service needs to be in a quasi-monopoly or at least have high barriers to entry (either physical, financial or regulatory). This allows the private sector equity investor to feel confident in their revenue forecast, essential because, unlike other businesses, infrastructure assets cannot be moved or adapted to perform other tasks, attract other users or perform other services... c. The fee for service (in this case the toll) needs to be set at a level that is also economically viable for the end users. Without any guidance on the start level or permitted escalation of tolls, Macquarie’s experience leads to the conclusion that toll revenue alone will not be able to support the construction of the Project, particularly when the validity of that number relies on the unpredictability of the competitive response from the owner of the Ambassador Bridge. As a result of these conditions, we do not believe that this project is financeable as a pure toll facility."
Hugh McNichol
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:05am
A factual error in your story. You wrote: "Detroit is the top truck border crossing in the nation; Buffalo-NiagaraFalls is second; and Port Huron’s Blue Water Bridge is third. " That is true if you only consider the Canadian Border. in 2010 Detroit handled 2.7 million trucks, Buffalo (2 bridges) handled 1.6 million and Port Huron handled 1.2 million, but when you add in the Mexican border Laredo (2 bridges) handled 2.9 million trucks, El Paso (2 bridges) handled 1.3 million, so if you're ranking busiest commerical crossjing in North America the Ranking should be Laredo, Detroit, Buffalo, El, Paso and Port Huron. If you're ranking individual crossings, then the Ambassador Bridge and the World Trade Bridge in Laredo are almost tied for #1 (slight edge to the Ambassador) at 2.7 million trucks, the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron is #3 with 1.2 million trucks, the Peace Bridge in Buffalo is #4 with 1 million rtrucks and there is a three way crowd for number 5 that includes the Lewiston-Queenston Brids in Buffalo, the Columbia Bridge in Laredo, the Zaragosa Bridge in El Paso, and the Otay Mesa highway crossing in California (all of the with roughly 600,000 trucks per year(
Ron French
Wed, 12/14/2011 - 8:56am
Hugh McNichol's comment regarding U.S. border crossing traffic rankings is correct; That being said, the article is entirely about trade crossings with Canada. I can see how the sentence Hugh refers to looks inaccurate when taken out of the article, but in the context of a story about bridge crossings with our neighbor to the north, we think the point is clear. Interesting discussion here - keep it going!
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:10am
All the projections aside. What is being asked for is Michigan residents to pay for an asset that makes it easy to move their work outside of Michigan. That by itself seems wrong. If the automotive companies benefit from the bridge then they need to pay for the bridge. Why do we pay for infrastructure for businesses so they can walk over us? Why pay for a stadium where millionaires earn their money while gouging the public on their prices? Why give money to an industry that cannot compete because their vision is clouded? Because we think they benefit us, but they don't. The people at the top will complain about the poor guy receiving welfare or unemployment because the job he worked at for years is sent overseas, but then go to the public trough for a new piece of infrastructure so they can continue to do the same short sighted things that got them here in the first place. Bottom line - be responsible for your own stuff! You use it - then pay for it. Don't expect me to pay for your wants!
Joseph Stylin
Fri, 06/22/2012 - 10:36am
Pay for what? The $550m we as Canadians are fronting you guys so that both Ontario and Michigan can keep all these factories and associated jobs? Weird, you must have missed that part.
stan snart
Mon, 10/29/2012 - 5:13pm
CABADIANS would be paying for 100% of the new proposed bridge. Moron (ops I meant Moroun) is telling lies to try to retain his monopoly.
Mike Belzer
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:34am
If you look closely at your figure on truck crossings, the drop is only since 2005, which is the period beginning with the world financial recession followed by bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler. We have yet to recover from this contraction and the data show information consistent with the amount of economic activity in the region. While there is a feedback loop here (economic contraction leads to freight decline and freight decline leads to economic contraction), the solution is not to accept that economic decline in the region is inevitable. In fact, you can see a big increase in traffic in 2010. That should continue as we dig out of the economic hole we are in. Nobody should want to make the contraction permanent, but this kind of talk can lead uninformed people to inadvertently decide they should move out of the region because the economy isn't going to recover. This is not the correct message to send, but if you do, people will leave.
Thomas W. Donnelly
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:41am
Myopia seems to rule the discussion about a new bridge. The Moroun family has spent heavily to shape opinion about the location of a second crossing, hijacking the debate. We live in an international world. The internet brought both opportunity to understand other cultures and also to move jobs out of the USA. So, should we go back to a pre-internet world? That will not happen.We need to adjust to the realities of our lives today with courage and forward thinking. In my opinion, the additional bridge will bring more opportunity for improving the lives of Michiganders and citizens of nearby states. I understand the distrust created by politicians who follow a narrow agenda. Like the arrival of the internet or the cell phone, this bridge can improve our lives. Build it!
Chuck Fellows
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:47am
Plato's Allegory. After decades of efforts by businesses large and small to develop the West Jefferson Avenue area, from downtown Detroit to the western suburbs, it is still terribly difficult to get anything done. And for those same decades one name has always been present, Moroun. If it ain't Matty's way it ain't happening. If a project does not benefit his business empire it will not get done. Just go and look at the freeway exit ramp to nowhere or the old Michigan Central Station or the terrible condition of properties owned by that business enterprise in the City. And if you begin to think that Matty is wrong don't go back in the cave.
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:52am
The flow of commerce will take the path of least resistance. If that occurs in New York, then that is the route it will take. There are far more economic factors involved than just the tolls that the bridge will generate. There is all of the commerce generated by funneling traffic through Michigan. Trade will continue to expand between the United States and Canada. Where that takes place is flexible. Do we want that potential for growth to come through Michigan or elsewhere?
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 2:26pm
Very important topics to come: What is an ‘aerotropolis?’ Is Michigan’s future prosperity dependent on the dockyard cranes of Nova Scotia? How tall does a railroad tunnel need to be these days? Thanks for your discussion of such key issues!
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 3:25pm
Change is hard to accept, we will all get used to it. Build the bridge and move on to more important things.
Joe M
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 3:35pm
The problem I'm having with supporting the NITC project is that I was told all along that funds to build it would not involve taxpayer money. Now I find that's not necessarily true and the more articles I read like yours that try to explain otherwise the more I'm convinced that I'll be on the hook for a bridge I'm not convinced I need. When that happens while I'm shopping I usually go home and rethink the whole thing over. How can I trust an administration that wasn't altogether forthright with all the information concerning the second bridge.
Tue, 12/13/2011 - 8:03pm
“ ...it’s been there for 82 years...not the easiest way to transport goods ...” said Andy Johnston, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce...“is critical to our national security and economic security.” These kind of remarks undercut the credibility of those speaking for a bridge. It is as if they do have any worthwhile thoughts they have to grab at straws. The long-term planning make sense. The problem is that is has come down to those that don't trust private industry or they simily want to spend taxpayer dollar because there is no accountability. If the bridge is private and cost too much the company goes broke and someone else runs it. If the governement builds it they simply raise taxes to pay for the boondgle. Until the real issues are talked about, governement control versus private control, fiancing, actual cost of construction, and the long-term costs, there will be active resistance to the new bridge. Until they address the issue of I-94, 3 lanes all the way across the state a new bridge at best would cause traffic to go I-75 to I-80.
Jeffrey Poling
Wed, 12/14/2011 - 11:00am
In the above article, Ron French has made perhaps the most accurate observation to date - "we live in a cul-de-sac state". In effect, we are commercially isolated. Main stream commerce with the rest of our country is forced, by geography, to take a detour. Even though both Chicago and Detroit share the Great Lakes, Chicago's growth surpassed Detroit's largely because it location promoted it as a rail hub directly accessable to major U.S. markets. Now Detroit has a chance to overcome its geographic isolation. Canada is the United States largest trading partner and it is right at Detroit's doorstep. The only thing standing in our way is Matty Moroun and his antiquated bridge. We have a choice; we can insure Detroit's prosperity or surrender to Matty Moroun's - or we can give it to Buffalo, NY.
Thu, 12/15/2011 - 4:56pm
Re the Hailfax-Detroit rail link story posted on this website, explain to me please again the business case for DRIC if rail will take away so much traffic!
John Saari
Fri, 12/16/2011 - 7:40am
Whether its a new bridge, tunnel, airport or stadium, don't make the taxpaying citizens pay for it. The users should pay for all of it. JohnS
Thomas Montpas
Thu, 06/21/2012 - 8:37am
What is wanted is a truck route through Michigan to the rest of the mid and far western states. If they want to run huge amounts of truck traffic on I-94 and bust it to even smaller pieces, then truck tolls would be in order to pay for road repair and maintenance. All that truck traffic will be out of Michigan in 3 to 4 hours - most without stopping at all. They want a nice easy run. I hear a lot of rhetoric about why the bridge is needed but no facts to back it up. National security? Right. We can't protect what we have now, so lets add another big target.
Thu, 06/21/2012 - 1:52pm
It is going to be very difficult for the Ambassador Bridge to compete with the NITC bridge, a government owned bridge. The only way for Canada to equalize the odds is for Canada to convert Ontario route 3, from the Ambassador Bridge to the 401, to a limited access freeway, like Canada is doing for the NITC. Canada could have done that some 80 years ago before the 14 traffic lights were installed. The NITC could take over 75 % of the Ambassador Bridge traffic and put Moroun out of business. At some future time a second NITC span would be needed. NITC would need to be twinned for back up and security.
Thu, 06/21/2012 - 2:17pm
I guess I have the wrong appraoch to the "Business Case" and the issue at hand (second bridge). Let me start with the second bridge. As best I can tell all parties, except much of the public, are interestd in a sedond bridge, the issue is whether it shlould be allowed to be build with private money and operated at a profit to paid back (by the users of the bridge) those funds use to build it or whether the people of Michigan (all the citizens pay for it). As best I can tell the Ambassador Bridge is not unsafe and has not been operated in an illegal manner so what is so wrong with the new bridge being in private management. Aside from what the State governement is telling us about the public onwed bridges in this state are in disrepair, what case has the Governor made that Stat owned and operated (and being above accountablitliy) is wrong with private building and ownership of the bridge. How did I miss that in this article, for a voter that seem like a question to be answered if it is to be a busienss decision. "One good argument is a look at the Ambassador itself. The Ambassador is 82 years old." Using that rationale I am surprised there still is a Brooklyn bridge, 129 years old. Or that we have started hearing about replacing the Golden Gate bridge, 75 years. The author obviously has a special knowledge of civil and mechnical engineering know that it is the age not the condition that determines the usefull ness of such strcutures. "Border crossings are vital to Michigan’s auto companies, which ship parts back and forth across the Canadian border multiple times during the manufacturing." That sounds a bit expensive and inefficient, so to facilitate that inefficiency we should spend upwards of $2billion rather then for those companies to move their suppliers facilities closer for several milliion dollars. I would could anyone find empty manufacturing building in Detroit that would be available for such changes? "“I’m not worried about it falling into the river. But it’s been there for 82 years, and it’s not the easiest way to transport goods any longer,” said Andy Johnston, vice president for governmental affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber " I have to add not living in GR that if this is the htinking of their business community I can understand why there not a center of interest for the Governor. Mr. Johnson seems to think since it is 82 years old that that somehow makes a bridge not an easy way to travel. I guess he would rather ride the ferry, I would how many bridges there are in GR and how difficult they are to use. There are so many questions to ask that are taugth in the Business school (UM, MSU) that are not being asked or answered. As best I can tell this was started by that far sighted Gov Granholm, and the Canadian's not likely Moroun family, they like the Ambassador bridge location when it was built. Otherwise we would likely have the second bridge without the public money. I am suprise that the "Bridge Magazine" (not that this suggests any bias) analysis team and writer did try to find out about an estimated cost, an expected payback, operating costs, projected usage, bottlenecks such as I-94, cost of getting the land, and other questions that a business would ask befor committing much less money than we are expecting this to be. "Gov. Rick Snyder and business groups support a public bridge, paid for primarily by the U.S. and Canadian governments," are they suggesting the new bridge will be free to Michigan citizens? If that is that case then I have some swamp land or a bridge to sell. Oh that is right they are trying to sell me a bridge. I ma begining to wonder about Gov Snyder's business acumen, since we have not heard about the type of question he should have been asking when he was in private business. I wonder what Herman Miller or Steel case or Dow Chemical or Amway and even what Ford (these are MIchigan companies that didn't nee governemnt help to survive though there history) would be asking before they committed this kind of money. Mr. French if you are going to claim yor article is about the 'Business case' take the time to ask some succesfull businesses what they would be using to make such a decision.
Joseph Stylin
Fri, 06/22/2012 - 10:32am
What I think this article fails to take into account that regardless of the strong business case for a new bridge, the current one is 80 something years old and is not in the best condition, steel only lasts for so long, I've seen holes in the bridge steel caused by a steady drip of water, long and short is we need to have a new bridge built before the old one gets in such a state of disrepair that it becomes unsafe.
Mon, 07/16/2012 - 3:46pm
What is missing here is that customs clearance is what slows down and bottlenecks traffic on the bridge. How about having customs create a system to clear cars and trucks in less time? I don't think that would cost $2 billion but you would have more tourists and trucks wouldn't be backed up for miles. Government has created the problem make serve their customers better and faster. Do away with the passport requirement. Have a text or email form that gives Custom's officials info on every one in the truck and car--including cargo.
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 12:25pm
This is not about Michigan/Canada trade connection. Its about the super highway from Mexico to Canada. The Mexican truck drivers driving from Mexico to Canada, costing many American truck driver jobs. Wake up America!!!!!