One of the construction projects currently garnering national attention is the commuter bridge connecting Detroit with Canada. President Barack Obama's federal budget proposal didn't include funding for the customs plaza that will be built on the U.S. side of the Detroit River. However, despite the funding recommendation's omission, officials believe the $2.1 billion New International Trade Crossing plan will be completed on schedule by 2020.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder doesn't have a strategy in place to come up with the $250 million needed for the customs plaza, but through his spokesperson, Sara Wurfel, he issued a statement explaining construction of the bridge will proceed without delays.
"This infrastructure project is of utmost economic significance to both Michigan and the entire U.S. and our largest trading partner Canada," Wurfel said. "The Canadian government and the state of Michigan remain deeply committed to their highly dependent partnership and multiple avenues of resolution to the issue are being explored."
The New Bridge Creates Several Opportunities
Currently, the trade relationship that brings in $70 billion per year between the U.S. and Canada is being fostered by the 84-year-old Ambassador Bridge, according to The Associated Press AP. Improving the infrastructure will not only increase construction jobs during the lifespan of the project, but it will also boost the U.S. economy.
Michigan Rep.Gary Peters recently released a statement, claiming the Obama Administration made a mistake by not including the Detroit plaza in its budget plan. He believes working with leaders in Michigan and Canada will help both sides come up with a way to collect the funding needed.
Mark Butler, a spokesman of Transport Canada, agrees. He told The AP that roughly 10 million jobs in his country and the U.S. depend on a smooth trade route. Without a new bridge, it will be difficult to ensure the export and import relationship between the two countries will continue to get stronger,he added.
"A new bridge is needed for growing trade and traffic at Windsor-Detroit,'' Butler said. "This project will also create thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border. It will also provide a much-needed crossing alternative at the busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing.''
Canada Plans to Provide Much of the Funding
The New International Trade Crossing project is expected to costs roughly $3.5 billion, and The AP reported Canada will be responsible for $2.3 billion of the total. It will even cover $550 million in infrastructure costs for construction on the Michigan side. Without federal funding, state officials in Michigan may have to get a little creative to finance their side of the bridge.
According to MLive, a local news website, coming up with the funds for the project is the final obstacle the state must overcome before starting the project in 2016. Getting final approval will likely allow officials to seek out contractor bids in the local construction network.