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Posted on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

Rick Snyder rejects idea of asking Canada for more cash for Detroit-to-Windsor bridge

By Nathan Bomey

Gov. Rick Snyder said today that he would not seek more cash from the Canadian government to help fund the construction of a new bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor.

Snyder’s bridge proposal stalled in the Michigan Senate last week as some Republicans questioned the project’s economic viability and some Democrats refused to support the project without specific guarantees for Detroit neighborhoods that would be affected by the project.

Snyder wants to authorize a public-private partnership that would hire a private contractor to build the bridge, partly using $550 million pledged by the Canadian government.


The owners of the Ambassador Bridge, which currently spans the Detroit River, have fought Gov. Rick Snyder's proposal to build a new publicly owned bridge.

Photo courtesy of VideoVik via Flickr

“The money they said they’d put up would actually cover our infrastructure costs. So there really isn’t a need for additional dollars,” Snyder told in a short interview after an event today at the University of Michigan.

The governor’s proposal drew support from the major U.S. automakers, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and Michigan’s four living ex-governors. Snyder has asserted that the legislation would prevent Michigan from being exposed to any losses that might occur with the bridge.

But the owners of the Ambassador Bridge — which currently carries traffic over the Detroit River — waged a $5 million TV advertising campaign, arguing that the bridge would cost Michigan cash.

Matthew Moroun, vice chairman of the Detroit International Bridge Co., told in June that taxpayers would be "annihilated" by the bridge.

The Canadians have promised to front $550 million in cash for the project — which would be repaid using toll dollars over time. Snyder also negotiated a deal with the federal government to allow those dollars to serve as matching funds to secure more road construction funding from Washington.

Snyder said today there’s no reason to ask the Canadians to put up more money.

“Money for what, though?” Snyder said. “It’s all paid for. I don’t ask for money you don’t need.”

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


Kai Petainen

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

if Moroun thinks the bridge is such a bad idea, then he should let them build the bridge. that way, when the bridge is built and it somehow screws up, then he can sit back and say 'i told you so'. but, his actions indicate that building a bridge is a good idea for everyone else, and a bad idea for his pocket book.


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

Is there a clearer case of political corruption than the attempt to block the international bridge? Do the Lansing politicians think that they all will become paid "consultants" for the Ambassador Bridge Company once their terms of office is completed? Where is a NYT investigation on political payoffs? Where is a federal investigation of Michigan legislators?

Stan Hyne

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

It would seem that the new bridge is a no brainer it should be built. If it does cost the state some money in the long run so be it. If it wasn't a good idea Mr Moroun wouldn't have spent so much money to try to buy his own bridge and stop this one. Maybe if this bridge doesn't get built Marty will get his bridge. Then with no reasonable competition see what the tolls will be.


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 11:13 a.m.

Glad to know both democrats and republicans are sharing this absolute failure of an opportunity for progress. It would also be nice to get a new bridge off of stadium, looks like a bomb went off on that road right there.

Basic Bob

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

You would think that there are no Democrats at all in the state legislature from their absolute silence on this issue. Did Maroun pay them to stay on the sideline???


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

I'm not a Snyder fan at all but when he proposes something I support, I gotta support that. This bridge is a no-brainer, a win-win, whatever cliché you want. Maroun is putting up all those attack ad dollars because the Ambassador is his golden goose. That border should be controlled by government and so should the revenue. He has proven many times over that (THIS) private citizen(s) cannot be trusted to take care of public infrastructure.

Stephen Landes

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 4:40 a.m.

There is a guarantee for the down river communities: if we don't build this link the business we have will leave. If we do build this link then we have a chance at more business growing in this region -- more growth equals more demand for property which raises property values and TAX REVENUE. It is the increased tax revenue that guarantees these communities a brighter future, not another short term government hand out. We should pay more than fair market value for current property owners who have to relocate so a new public facility can be constructed (that's PUBLIC facility, not private facility) to recognize the sacrifice and loss those owners experience. I believe the state guideline is 125% of fair market value.

Ron Granger

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

Snyder: "The money they said they'd put up would actually cover our infrastructure costs. So there really isn't a need for additional dollars," That is incredibly disingenuous. Studies by Oxford University show that 90% of mega infrastructure projects go over budget. Bridges go over budget by an *average* of 34%.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

when your friend (next door country) is offering to pay for a large chunk of the cost, you don't ask for more money. "Money for what, though?" Snyder said. "It's all paid for. I don't ask for money you don't need." exactly. but with the bridge, one person has power over the government and even national security (if you view the bridge as an item of national security). pretty scary power.


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.



Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

It boggles the mind that people are against a bridge that, not only will be payed for by canada, but also brings in more federal level funds to the state.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

Get on the bandwagon. Canada is our long-term ally and we need this bridge.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

We already have a problem with "Canadian Geese" once this bridge is built we will also have a problem with "Canadians". They will do jobs Americans don't want to do and work for less. Then we will all start talking funny! like saying "Aboot da, or AAAA, shedule

Ricardo Queso

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Occupy Wall Street? How about Occupy the Ambassador Bridge. The Morouns are throwing cash around like drunken hedge fund managers. I'll believe they are sincere when they do something with the old train station.