It's Only Taxpayer Money
I just do not understand it. In Michigan, the State funds for DRIC for the new fiscal year have essentially been cut off when the Legislators passed a budget amendment and the Governor did not veto it.
You might think then that on our side there might be a slight pause to consider what the impact of this might mean for the DRIC project and, more importantly, for the spending of taxpayer money.
If there was a consideration, the answer is: just keep on spending.
Councillor Jones at the last Council meeting discussed that there would be drilling in Sandwich. The Star reported that
- "Two private firms contracted by the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) team will drill 12 holes to a depth of about 400 metres to determine how the bedrock in the area has been affected by mining operations over the years."
Now it is NOT clear to me whether there is going to be drilling on the other side or not based on the State actions. I do know that there is a drilling schedule for the US side that has been announced. If the drilling goes ahead (since I believe MDOT may have the funds in its budget for this fiscal year) but the actions are viewed as being contrary to what the State has just passed, would MDOT and its bureaucrats be breaking the law and liable to prosecution?
Let us assume that MDOT decides NOT to do drilling. Then what is the point of us spending up to $12 million on drilling on our side alone and achieving a result. The results are of no value because we do not know what would be the result on the other side! What may work here may not work there.
I am sure that the rationale used for this illogical action is to let us do the testing on the Canadian side first to narrow down the location on the US side so that when they are allowed to do so, they can drill in the corresponding area only. So Canadians, you waste your money to preserve DRIC! And we will outwait those foolish Legislators who hopefully will not be re-elected so we can continue spending on our side!
We also learn again in the Star story that:
- "The area where the DRIC drilling and soil testing will take place stretches roughly from Sterling Fuels near Watkins and south to Prospect. It will occur between Sandwich Street and the riverfront...
Another hurdle in the same industrial corridor for DRIC is that the best location in Delray for a bridge and plaza lines up roughly across from Watkins and the most heavily populated parts of Sandwich. The preferred choice on this side of the river -- Brighton Beach -- lines up across from the most valued section of Delray.
It could mean a diagonal crossing or a more lengthy and costly S-type bridge may be required to satisfy residents on both sides."
In other words, we either spend a lot more money for an illogical bridge or destroy Sandwich or Delray.
Of course there is a way to avoid the spending up of to $12 million on our side and the equivalent on the US side and not have to destroy a Community:
Build a bridge right at the Ambassador Bridge site
In this case, we do not have to worry about salt mines, underwater pipelines and brine wells. The bridge would be located within the existing plazas on both sides of the river so no Community would be impacted. Moreoever, the Americans should be pleased because it works well for them and they have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Ambassador Gateway project that was designed for a twinned bridge as in Sarnia.
But that would be too simple wouldn't it?
There is a reason why this simple solution will never work. What it means is that a Canadian politician would actually have to make a decision on where the road to the bridge would have to go. Do you truly believe that any of our politicians at any level have the guts to do that? So instead of deciding anything, keep on spending taxpayer money and talk about quality of life for years and years to come.