The Windsor Star
A majority of business owners and managers have voted strongly in favour of supporting the government-backed $1-billion downriver bridge, according to a poll from a Detroit business magazine and conducted by a Lansing-area research company.
Sixty per cent of those who responded are in favor of the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge, while 28 per cent are opposed in the survey commissioned by Crain’s Detroit Business, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP and conducted by Epic-MRA.
The survey included the responses of 300 Detroit area business managers and owners in mid-February.
Support for the bridge has jumped from the last Crain’s/Honigman poll in November which showed 46 per cent supported the project – which would connect the downriver industrial communities of Brighton Beach and Delray – while 44 per cent were opposed.
Since that time, Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun was found in contempt of court and sent to a jail for 30 hours for his failure to properly complete bridge plaza in Detroit in ,accordance with the state government’s $230-million Gateway Project. The billionaire businessman has lobbied hard politically and financially to stop the DRIC bridge.
Moroun has failed to link the U.S. bridge plaza with nearby freeways in accordance with the plan forcing truck traffic to use local streets.
Canada has offered the state government of Michigan up to $550-million to pay for its share of the DRIC bridge project. It would recoup the money through toll revenues.
One business owner who participated in the Crains survey offered his support to the DRIC project and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder who is leading the effort to win approval in the state legislature.
Joe Sowerby, a partner in Anton, Sowerby & Associates, a Mt. Clemens commercial real estate firm, told Crains: “I have a lot of confidence in Gov. Snyder’s judgment. Given Snyder’s financial background, I find it hard to believe the country of Canada is going to pull the wool over his eyes in regards to the cost of a new bridge.”