CALLEY HINTS AT ALTERNATIVES TO BRIDGE LEGISLATION

Gongwer News Service

Lt. Governor Brian Calley said Thursday that there are other ways to authorize the construction of a new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, in the event the Legislature does not pass the bills the Snyder administration has proposed.

“This bridge will happen. There’s a lot of ways the bridge can happen,” he said. “My favorite way is the way we proposed the first time.”

The governor’s proposal is contained in SB 410 and SB 411, which would create an authority that, together with the Canadian side, would hire a concessionaire to build and run the bridge and oversee the construction of it.

There have been hints over the years that should Michigan fail to authorize a bridge that the U.S. government might act to authorize it anyway.

Whatever back-up options Mr. Calley has in mind, he declined to say.

“There’s a half-a-dozen different ways,” he said. “I’m not going to get into describing all the different ways that it could happen because I’m still very committed to the way that we proposed, which I think is the best way, but it certainly is not the only way.”

As far as assembling the votes for the legislation, Mr. Calley said the summer has proven fruitful because the administration has been able to place extra focus on it. But he declined to declare that it has lined up enough votes to pass the bills.

“The only vote I care about is the vote when it happens in the Legislature,” he said. “I learned a long time ago that counting votes ahead of time and taking those to the bank is a fruitless exercise.”

As far as timetable, Mr. Calley said, “We want to have a vote this year. I think that is critical.”