Grand Rapids Chamber backs proposed bridge between Detroit and Canada

Mar 17, 2011

Add the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce to the growing list of people, organizations hoping to see the rebranded New International Trade Crossing become a reality.

Andrew Johnson is the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Government Affairs.

“We care about the bridge because 1 in 7 jobs in the Grand Rapids area is tied to exports. And the stronger trade we have between Michigan and Canada, the better it is for our West Michigan businesses.”

Johnson says members are looking to expand their export. He says they see the slowdowns that occur during peak times now at the international crossings as a problem that will only get worse.

“We need it to meet the trade capacity that’s going to happen in 2030 so we think it needs to start happening now.”

The Canadian government will contribute $550 million to cover Michigan’s share of the project’s costs. The federal government has agreed to accept that money as Michigan’s matching funds towards the project.

“A well-functioning border is important to our region and state. The construction of an additional bridge will provide immediate value to Michigan companies doing business in Canada,” said Jeanne Englehart, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.