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Money talks, big players and the debate over a new bridge

The Ambassador Bridge.
Lester Graham

The question of whether to build a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario has been the source of ongoing conflict between Gov. Snyder and Matty Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge Company.

Reporter Lester Graham, with Michigan Watch, will bring us a special five-part series on the debate about building a new bridge. The series begins on Monday August 13.

It’s no secret there are some big players in this story. “We’ve got a governor who wants the bridge, we’ve got Canada who wants to pay for the bridge and we’ve got the Ambassador Bridge owners who are fighting against the bridge. We’ve got voters who’ll decide if we need to vote on a bridge and then not to be forgotten are the people in the southwest neighborhood of Delray who might have to live with the bridge,” he said.

Those who oppose the bridge say taxpayers will end up paying millions of dollars for the project, Canada says it will pay for the bridge and Gov. Snyder says it will create jobs in the state.

Graham says, “If we get the money from Canada we can use that for matching road funds from the federal government, so that’s a pretty good deal for Michigan, but there are lots of controversies around that as well.”

“This is all about money. It’s all about if money stays within the private sector or whether the government can attract money from Washington D.C. and from Ottawa, Canada. But the real question is, what’s best for Michigan, Michigan jobs, Michigan economy and Michigan business, and that is yet to play out,” he said.

Mercedes Mejia is a producer and director of Stateside.
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