Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Has New Ally In Fight For International Bridge

Changing Gears

By Pete Bigelow

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has an unlikely ally in his push to build a new international bridge between Detroit and Canada — the Buckeye State.

Ohio state senators say their state needs the bridge as much as Michigan.

They have introduced a senate resolution encouraging their northern neighbors to build a replacement for the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge. Ohio Senate Resolution 141 states that bilateral trade with Canada generated $30.9 billion in 2010, and said Canada was the top market for Buckeye State exports.

“A modern border crossing that can support the ever-increasing amount of trade and travel between the U.S. and Canada is essential to the economies of Ohio, the Midwest and the U.S.,” says SR141, which was introduced by Republican Sen. Gayle Manning.

In Michigan, Snyder has been spurned by fellow Republicans in his attempts to build the bridge. They recently shelved two bills that would allow for the creation of an authority which would solicit bids for the project. Canada has volunteered to contribute $550 million toward the bridge.

Matty Moroun, owner of the private Ambassador Bridge, has fiercely lobbied against the project. On Monday, Snyder said he may try to circumvent the Michigan state legislature, a strategy that could test the limits of his executive power.