It Took Time To State The Obvious
Finally people are starting to say what was known years ago. The excuse of the need to do assessments even on marginal sites is a lame one. That is NOT the Ontario law as the Courts have ruled. The Bi-national ought to know that.
Here is an excerpt from today's Detroit News. In reading it, we are almost there if the politicians will finally follow the Michigan Governor's lead and take the final step. dismantle the Bi-National Partnership.
Southwest Detroit is likely site for new bridge
Locations adjacent to the Ambassador Bridge and Zug Island are among options for span to Canada.
By Joel Kurth, Detroit News
Authorities studying another bridge between Michigan and Ontario have a good idea where it would go, but will still spend more than two years and $15 million making sure.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm's announcement this week eliminating Downriver and Belle Isle as sites for a third crossing narrows the possibilities to a four-mile ribbon of land centered in southwest Detroit along the Detroit River.
Of that land, some is privately owned. Other sites cross rock beds or salt mines that wouldn't support bridges. Officially, a group of Canadian and United States transportation officials is considering seven sites, but insiders say the race may boil down to two: Zug Island near River Rouge or next to the Ambassador Bridge in southwest Detroit.
"Where's the narrowest spot in the river? That's where a bridge makes the most sense," said Jim Kirschensteiner, a member of the border group and Michigan's assistant chief of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.
Even so, the bi-national group -- the Partnership Border Study -- is proceeding with a three-year review of sites that won't end until 2007 and will cost $25 million total. Michigan and federal taxpayers are picking up about $16.5 million of that tab.
The urgency to build another span has faded with the easing of miles-long traffic backups following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Benjamin Kohrman, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said laws on both sides of the border require exacting assessments of all sites -- no matter how seemingly marginal.
Another prominent plan, the so-called Jobs Tunnel, also could be in jeopardy.
"The Jobs Tunnel doesn't cut it for the long-term," Kirschensteiner said. "It's great for the short-term. It's still on the table. Whether it survives the cut in November, you can draw your own conclusions."
Other neighbors in Delray, near Zug Island, aren't as upset.
"This is the most logical place for a bridge," said resident Peter Berna. "We've got truck yards here. We've got scrap yards. It's industrial. Most of the people have already left."