Recently, Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano appeared on WDIV Flashpoint to discuss the New International Trade Crossing with Matthew Moroun, Vice- Chairman of the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) and Michigan State Representative Paul Opsommer.
Mr. Moroun made several misleading statements during the broadcast.
He erroneously claimed that Michigan taxpayers will have to pay for the New International Trade Crossing (NITC). The fact of the matter is that the Canadian government has committed to contribute $550 million that will cover the Michigan portion of project. Furthermore, Canada will also take full financial responsibility for any project payment shortfalls.
And, as Sandy Baruah and Robert Ficano pointed out, the unique agreement Governor Rick Snyder secured with the U.S. federal government, will leverage up to $2 billion in federal highway matching funds that will secure vital funding for road and infrastructure improvement across the state.
Mr. Moroun also claims that there is not enough traffic to justify the need for a second bridge. Mr. Moroun fails to tell you that in 2009, when applying for financing for their second span, the DIBC projected traffic figures above and beyond what the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) projected in their report submitted to the Michigan legislature in 2010.
Simply put, Mr. Moroun and the DIBC will say and do anything to protect their monopoly at the border.
Another piece of misinformation Mr. Moroun discusses is that the DIBC has already built the ramps and plazas for their proposed second span. Mr. Moroun failed to mention the January ruling from Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentis Edwards determined that the DIBC illegally constructed ramps, plazas, and duty free shops that broke contractual agreements with the governments of Michigan and the United States. Judge Edwards ordered that the ramps, plazas, and duty free shops be torn down immediately…we are still waiting for the DIBC to comply with the ruling.
Mr. Moroun also attacks the use to federal dollars on the NITC’s customs plaza and the $2 billion the NITC would generate in federal matching funds to repair roads around the state. But the feds and the state spent more than $200 million to connect Mr. Moroun’s bridge to I-75 and he just recently held a press conference in Lansing offering his toll credits to the state to secure additional federal road funding.
You can watch Matthew Moroun play misinformation monopoly by clicking here.