DETROIT (WWJ) - Governor Rick Snyder said he expects to get a presidential permit to build a second bridge from Detroit to Windsor by the end of the year.
Despite some opposition, Snyder plans to move ahead with the project that he said will increase international trade and create thousands of jobs.
Talking to reporters on Monday, the governor said a ballot proposal calling for a public referendum on the issue would only make state laws more complex.
“Because, if you think about it, we go to the constitution to do a bridge project? We don’t want to overly complicate our constitution,” he said. “We typically make good decisions (and have) good judgment and government partnership with our citizens, so I don’t think we need something like that.”
Snyder said the permit requirement is only a minor complication.
“There will always be some legal speed bumps on a project like that, but we’ve got a good track record of getting over those speed bumps and using relentless positive action and moving forward,” Snyder said.
The $2 billion bridge project is expected be Michigan’s largest public infrastructure projects in decades. Snyder said, however, he’s made a deal with Canada that will ensure the project doesn’t cost state taxpayers a dime.
Both countries would be represented on a bridge board, and a Canadian entity would handle design, construction and operation of the bridge.
The new bridge is planned about two miles downriver from the Ambassador Bridge. (View plan details as outlined by the governor here).
Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun has publicly opposed Snyder’s project in favor of a second span that would be in his company’s control.