Gov. Snyder leaning on federal government to pony up to get new bridge to Canada off the ground

By Todd Spangler

WASHINGTON — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he’s still looking for a commitment from the federal government to pay for a new customs plaza in Detroit — one of the few remaining stumbling blocks to getting construction of the proposed New International Trade Crossing underway.

A month ago, Snyder complained before a Free Press editorial board meeting that it was the federal government’s failure to commit to build a new $250-million customs plaza that was helping to hold up the $2.1-billion project that could create thousands of jobs.

The Canadian government is paying up front for everything but that plaza, and Snyder — in the nation’s capital today for a meeting of the National Governors Association — said he still thinks it’s a matter of fairness for the Homeland Security Department, which oversees U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to shoulder that cost.

Snyder said he’s met with the state’s congressional representatives about the issue. But he’s still trying to sit down with Obama administration officials, though he said they are aware of his interest.

With the Obama administration set to release its fiscal 2015 budget in early March, however, the fact that no conversations have occurred could potentially be a bad sign.

“I’m going to continue to talk about this as an issue until it gets resolved,” said Snyder.

Originally posted in the Detroit Free Press