(League of Women Voters, http://www.lwvmi.org/documents/LWVMIProCon11-12.pdf)
Note: This information is provided by the League of Women Voters. Find out more about this nonpartisan organization at www.lwvmi.org.
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING CONSTRUCTION OF INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES AND TUNNELS
This proposal would: Require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each municipality where “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” are to be located before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring l and, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels. Create a definition of “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” that means, “any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012.”
Should this proposal be approved? YES ___ NO __
People Should Decide asserts that Michigan taxpayers could end up footing the bill for a multi-billion dollar new bridge to Canada, at a time when we need to be investing in jobs and schools. Proposal 6 will give the people a voice in how public money is spent on international crossings by requiring a vote at a statewide election and in each municipality in which there would be a new international bridge before state funds or resources could be used. The Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) has offered to build a privately-funded second span adjacent to the Ambassador Bridge which it owns. The New International Trade Crossing (NITC) bridge in another location will draw substantial traffic from the Blue Water Bridge, Detroit – Windsor Tunnel, and Ambassador Bridge. Truck traffic volumes in 2010 for all Michigan to Canada links were down since their peak in 2005, not up as projected. People Should Decide posits that the NITC project is economically unviable and risky for Michigan taxpayers as cost and volume forecasts are uncertain. A joint authority will oversee design, construction, and operation and so use of American materials and labor is not guaranteed. For more information go to www.thepeopleshoulddecide.com.
Taxpayers Against Monopolies which opposes Proposal 6 notes that this amendment is funded by Ambassador Bridge’s owner . The amendment would impact future crossings. Michigan and Canadian officials signed an agreement in June to build the New International Trade Crossing (NITC). One – quarter of all U.S. – Canada trade (world’s largest two – way relationship) crosses the Ambassador Bridge each year. NITC s supporters point to a projected doubling of truck traffic between Detroit and Windsor by 2035 . The second bridge two miles downriver will provide a direct highway – to – highway connection between the U.S. and Canada and provide much needed redundancy critical to national and economic security. U.S. and Canadian environmental clearances have been received. Estimate s are 10,000 Michigan construction workers would be hired for Michigan side and completed bridge would support 25,000 more Michigan jobs . The agreement states: “The Michigan Parties are NOT obligated to pay any of the costs of the new International Crossing.” Private investors will fund the bridge. Canada will pay $550 million for Michigan’s share of custom’s plaza, I – 75 connection, and toll plaza. U.S. will pay balance of custom’s plaza cost. Canada and private investors will be repaid by tolls collected. Canada has responsibility for any shortfall. For more information go to http://buildthedricnow.com.
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