Tunnel Contest Answers
You will be shocked at the answers you receive, when you see what has happened to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, formerly known as the "cash cow." You will not believe what you read.
I have to wonder why the City of Detroit would want to partner with Windsor in the Tunnel. We know already that it is unlikely that any dividend will be received by the City next year so that means that Councillor Budget has to find around $6.6M from taxpayers to fill the gap. We know the Tunnel has major problems but we still do not know what they are due to Council secrecy. We know that there are financial problems and traffic volume problems.
Here are the answers to the questions:
1. About 75,000 less vehicles in September and 88,000 less in October than last year
2. About 400,000 less vehicles year to date
3. About 485,000 fewer vehicles will go through the Tunnel overall in 2006 or about 9% of the total volume
4. Who knows when a manager will be hired to live and breathe the Tunnel business.
5. Why would anyone want to invest in a business that is going so rapidly downhill?
6. The Senior Levels will have a lot of explaining to do to justify investing a total of $30M in Tunnel Plaza Improvements with an asset that is rapidly losing volumes. With decreased volumes and Tunnel queuing, isn't the vehicle back-up on city streets problem disappearing on its own? Aren't there cheaper solutions anyway that have not been fully explored by the City's EA process?
7. How can one say that the litany of unsolved problems at the Tunnel is a mark of successful management of the Tunnel by the WTC Chair.
8. As for the new border crossing, if one is ever needed, what makes anyone think that a Public Authority will be any more successful than our Mayor at running a border crossing properly
9. Didn't Eddie value the Tunnel at $2-300M at one time. I estimated it to be worth $20-30M especially if one takes into account the fact that it is a "unique" security risk. Even if it is worth 5 times more than I say, look at the huge drop in value in such a short time.
10. Here is a bonus answer for you. Compared with 1999, Tunnel traffic will drop by over 40% by the end of this year, from 9.5M to 5.4M vehicles.
I have to be fair...not all of the mess can be attributed to the Mayor/WTC Chair Eddie Francis. The decline started before he became the head (although as Councillor he was on the WTC as well). What we can say is that under his watch
- the "unique" security risk of the Tunnel has NOT been fixed,
- the value of the Tunnel dropped significantly,
- finances declined due to serious errors in management,
- the Tunnel dividend to the City ended meaning taxpayers have to fork over anothter $6.6 M
- the Tunnel has to be borrow millions from the City running down our already dangerously low reserves,
- volumes decreased rapidly, around 9% this year alone
- there is no effective plan to move vehicles through the Tunnel more quickly,
- Tunnel ventilation building costs have sky-rocketed and
- the Tunnel Plaza Improvements are a $30M waste of money.
Hmmm since the Tunnel seems to be in such a mess, maybe I should try and get it from the City at a low price and then build it up to increase its value. I wonder where I can get the financing to do so.
I got it--hello Mike, have I got a deal for you!