Politics
5:06 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Bridge project could move committees this week

State Senate Republican leaders hope to have a floor vote as soon as this week on building a new publicly owned bridge between Detroit and Canada. The proposal has struggled for support as many rank-and-file Republicans remain skeptical the bridge is a good deal for taxpayers despite Canada's promise to pay all the construction costs.

Republican state Senator Dave Hildenbrand supports the bridge, but said the campaigns against the bridge muddied the discussion and made the project harder to approve.

“It’s becoming more and more apparent to me that there’s just a lot of misinformation that’s being thrown around and I’m digging in to find out the real facts, and the more I look at it the more I think that this is a decent project that we ought to consider potentially moving forward on,” he said.

The new bridge is opposed by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, which stands to lose a lot of business if a second span is built.

Hildenbrand said months of testimony and research left him confident that the bridge would be a good deal for Michigan taxpayers.

“Yeah, I’m very confident. I mean we have our attorney general stating that we have all the protections both statutorily and constitutionally to protect the state of Michigan and the taxpayers from any financial risk. I feel pretty comfortable with that,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville is expected to meet tomorrow morning with Governor Rick Snyder to talk about a strategy to move the bridge project forward.