DETROIT (WWJ) – Gov. Rick Snyder pledged a “commitment to community benefits” as part of his planned international bridge project at Thursday morning’s speech before the Southwest Detroit Business Association.

Asked by members of the group that includes 300 business and community leaders how he’ll put Detroiters to work on building a new bridge to Canada, Snyder said his team is already talking with trade union locals. He said they’ll work with neighborhoods to make the most of the cross-border traffic.

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“How do we do it in a fashion that does make sense to say that there is a lot of activity here — but respecting residential neighborhoods on one hand, but having thriving commerical and industrial areas that are going to employ southwest Detroiters,” Snyder said.

“Here in the U.S. there should be good opportunity to build businesses that could create more jobs right here in the neighborhood, and do it in a way where we can more separate the commercial/industrial parts of those enterprises from the residential piece,” he said. “Because there’s some good residential areas we wanna see flourish, too.”

The governor said he will respect the residential areas of southwest Detroit in the construction, using efforts across the river as an example.

“They’re doing the Windsor-Essex Parkway, which is over a billion-dollar project in its own right,” said Snyder. “That’s some of the learnings we’re looking at — how they’re doing community benefits with that particular project in those neighborhoods right across the river that we’re going to be using as guidance here.”

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Regarding opposition to the project, Snyder repeated his mantra of “relentless positive action” to see it through.

He noted that they started the process this week of applying for a presidential permit as part of the interlocal agreement signed with Canada.


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