Bridge owners say analysis shows new bridge not economically feasible

Oct 4, 2012

A report commissioned by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge says Gov. Rick  Snyder has not given voters enough information about the economic impact of a proposed new span over the Detroit River. 

The analysis by a Grand Rapids consulting firm says plans for the new bridge are not economically feasible.

"A CEO in the private sector making a multi-billion-dollar investment with concerns about the bottom line in shareholder return would put this proposal under a lot more scrutiny than it appears the governor has," says Patrick O'Keefe, CEO of O'Keefe and Associates.

O'Keefe says a new bridge would harm existing crossings from Michigan to Canada, including the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Blue Water Bridge near Port Huron. He also says the new bridge would cost the state about $325 million  in lost taxes over 20 years.

The plan is for Canada to pay for the construction of the bridge, which would be repaid by tolls.

A proposal on next month's ballot would require a statewide vote before Michigan could take part in building a new international bridge.

O'Keefe called his company's analysis independent because they were paid by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge before the study was done.