John F. Mcewan | The Windsor Star
During the ’60s, the air pollution over Michigan Downriver communities was terrible.
A huge red cloud of iron oxide hung over the area. Premature deaths were blamed on the dirty air.
Under federal and local funding of the Clean Air Act, the Downriver communities, in co-operation with the Wayne County health department, launched the Downriver Air Pollution Control Project. Following a meeting in the middle of the Detroit River on the first Earth Day, the Canadian communities of Windsor and Sandwich West became full contributing members of the project.
Canadian funds were matched three to one by U.S. federal funds. Because Canadian air pollution was carried by prevailing winds from U.S. sources, U.S. and Canadian air pollution control engineers worked together on both sides of the border.
The project was active for more than 15 years. And now, Canada, our proven friend, will build a new bridge over the Detroit River that will permit heavy traffic from Ford, GM, Chrysler, and others to link up directly with the Canadian highway system.
There will be paycheques for our people working on construction of the bridge. Only American and Canadian steel will be used.
There will be no cost for Michigan taxpayers. Our total cost will be paid by bridge user fares.
This is truly a free bridge.
JOHN F. McEWAN, former mayor, City of River Rouge, Mich.