Whereas, the Detroit River International Crossing study was a four-year coordinated effort by Canada, the United States, Michigan and Ontario, completed in 2008 to provide for the safe, efficient and secure movement of people and goods across the Canadian-U.S. border in the Detroit River area through the identification of a new end-to-end border transportation system; and
Whereas, a 2010 report by the U.S. International Trade Association estimated that trade with Canada supported some 237,000 jobs in Michigan alone and that between 2009 and 2010 trade between Michigan and Canada increased by 42 percent to $62 billion; and
Whereas, supporters for a New International Trade Crossing (NITC) bridge include 15 Chambers of Commerce in the State of Michigan, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, five major automakers (Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Toyota and Honda), along with over 50 other major corporations involved in U.S. Canadian trade, the Ohio State Senate and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments; and
Whereas, the Canadian government has committed to pay $550 million of the State of Michigan’s cost share for a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor; and
Whereas, the Province of Ontario, Essex County and City of Windsor, Ontario recently broke ground on the C$1.4 billion Windsor Essex Parkway, an 11 kilometer, six-lane extension of Highway 401 representing one of the province’s largest commitments ever to increased international trade between the U.S. and Canada by linking more seamlessly the I-75 and Highway 401 corridors via a new bridge; and
Whereas, traffic crossing the border between Detroit and Windsor is anticipated to grow from 18,500 vehicles a day in 2016 to 26,500 by 2025; and
Whereas, legislation authorizing the NITC awaits approval in the Michigan state legislature; and
Whereas, one of the Great Lakes Commission’s missions is to support healthy, sustainable economic growth in the region, and economic growth in our region depends to a great extent on cross-border trade between the U.S. and Canada.
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Great Lakes Commission urges passage by the Michigan state legislature of legislation that would allow the state to enter into a public-private agreement to build the NITC as proposed by the Michigan Department of Transportation.