State Proposal Asks Voters if They Should Have Final Say in New Bridges, Tunnels
The proposal is one of six on Michigan's ballot this Nov. 6, and it could play a key role in the fate of a possible new bridge to Canada.
Though the U.S. and Canada have continued to move forward with plans to construct the New International Trade Crossing—coloquially known as the new bridge to Canada—voters will decide if residents should have the final say on it.
Opponents of the new bridge, led by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel Moroun, spent millions to get the proposal on the ballot, aimed to put the bridge's future in voters' hands.
Supporters of the bridge, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, say it will be a boon for international trade, and ease congestion on the Ambassador.
According to HuffPost Detroit, the new bridge would cost about $1 billion, and would create 10,000 temporary construction jobs. Canada has agreed to foot $550 million of the bill, hoping to recoup it in toll costs.
Here's the language voters will see on the Nov. 6 ballot for the bridge proposal:
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 land, 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?
A yes vote would require voter approval before the new bridge to Canada—or any other international crossing—could be built.
A no vote would allow elected officials to pursue a new crossing.