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Detroit-Windsor Bridge Vote Postponed In Committee

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Some local residents have protested against the new bridge (WWJ Photo)

Some local residents have protested against the new bridge (WWJ Photo)

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – An initial vote on a proposal to build a new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, has been delayed in the Michigan Legislature.

The Republican-led Senate Economic Development Committee was expected to vote on the proposal Wednesday.

But WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said the vote was postponed by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Mike Kowall, because he hadn’t yet reviewed a substitute bill that was submitted shortly before the committee’s scheduled meeting.

“He told me, just before the meeting began, ‘I am very angry’. The administration dumped on him, at the last minute, what they call a substitute bill, a complete new rewrite of what they wanted,” said Skubick.

“The chairman was blind-sided. He didn’t know what was in the bill. He said, ‘I can’t take this thing up, I have not read it’. So, rather than debate it and look at it, he adjourned, used the gavel, walked across the street, went back to his office,” Skubick said.

The legislation that is pending would allow Michigan to get involved with the bridge project.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said the new bridge would be “critically important” to expanding international trade between the U.S. and Canada. He said it would bring new jobs to the state and would not be paid for with taxpayer’s money.

The private owners of the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit oppose a second bridge, saying a publicly supported span across the Detroit River would unfairly compete with their own.

WWJ’s Marie Osborne talked with at least one man in southwest Detroit, who is hoping that a new bridge will be built.

The 82-year-old Bishop Phillip Pulliam, of Jehovah Gireh Full Gospel Church said he’s watching as the once vibrant Delray neighborhood had become like a war zone.

“Let it come. I’m not against it … because they have allowed Delray to become a dumping area. You could see that on your way in and out you’ll see it,” Pulliam said.

Pulliam, who said his congregation that once had over 200 members now has only three. Pulliam said he prays about this bridge every day.

Others in Delray have protested the bridge project.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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