Most voters polled back new Canadian-backed bridge

BY JOHN GALLAGHER
DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Two-thirds of Michigan voters support Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan for a new bridge to Windsor once they understand Canada’s role in helping to pay for the span, new poll results showed today.

Conducted for the corporate leadership group Business Leaders for Michigan, the poll of 600 likely voters showed that 61.5% favored building the new public bridge and 32.5% opposed it.

The poll was conducted by the Glengariff Group with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Canada has offered to advance up to $550 million of Michigan’s share of the costs of the New International Trade Crossing project, to be paid back through tolls. Snyder and other advocates of NITC say that means that the bridge project won’t cost Michigan taxpayers anything.

“When the public understands that the project is being funded by Canada, the federal government and customer tolls, not Michigan dollars, they support the effort,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan.

“The cost-benefit scenario is positive in the minds of taxpayers when it becomes clear that there are only upsides for our state’s economy. Adding an additional bridge is a unique opportunity for Michigan to begin positioning itself as a gateway to the world.”

He added, “It’s clearly a case of making sure people are well-informed about this issue.”