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 Snyder's Bridge 
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Post Snyder's Bridge
I don't know what you guys know about it, or if it has already been discussed (I did a quick searcha and didn't come up with anything, but I thought I created a thread on it already), but I was wondering if anyone had any input/opinions on the subject...

I'll start...
1) I don't see why we should allow Matty Moroun to have a monopoly when Canada is willing to foot the bill for construction, allow us to pay them back with toll money, and give us ownership of our half once that money has been paid back.

2) The new bridge by-passes down town Windsor, and allows traffic to move fluildly onto Canada's highways. This eliminates Truckers needing to drive through down town Windsor, cuts the travel time from Detroit to NJ by 20-30 minutes, and is going to make that route for Truck drives more desireable to drive through MI. I know I know... TRAFFIC!!! But if people are driving through most of MI, and from parts of Ohio to save TIME to get to NJ/NY via Canada instead of taking the Penn route, it will mean more fuel sales, more commerce, and more tax $$$ for MI.


October 18th, 2011, 4:44 pm
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Post Re: Snyder's Bridge
I've been away from Windsor for a few years now, but I have semi followed the developments around the new bridge, though I guess I read things from the Canadian bias.

I can understand Moroun's gripe, that essentially it is a government that is trying to draw traffic away from his bridge. But from some of the stunts he has pulled around the Duty Free plaza on the Detroit side, buying up houses in Windsor, leading to blocks of vacant, boarded up houses and driving down property values while attracting more crime to the area (drugs, vandalism, etc) in what was already not one of the better neighbourhoods, and really doing nothing to try and alleviate the traffic that would build up on Huron Church Rd. in Windsor, I don't have much sympathy for him. His proposal would have twinned his current span, increasing traffic right in the middle of the city. (note the Bridge is not considered downtown Windsor, the tunnel is).

The other side is that the City of Windsor fought hard to ensure that the new road leading to the proposed bridge was not simply a "road". The route was engineered to be more community/ evironmentally friendly (as much as a road could be) with underground sections covered with green space, and away from houses as much as possible. The jobs and spinoffs from the construction of the new road would greatly help a city, that much like Detroit, has had a hard time recovering from the economic meltdown over the last few years.

Last, wjb is correct, the Canadian Government is basically offering to do all the initial work around construction, and have the Michigan/ US pay them back over years through the tolls generated. Maybe I need to look more into this, but if one government basically walks up and says, "Hey! We agree, a new bridge would be great! It needs to be a joint effort, of course, but tell ya what. We will build it, and you can just pay us back through the revenues your part will generate. then when it's paid off, you get the revenues all to yourself. Whadda ya say?" I would think that would be a decent deal.

Some parts where I am a bit ignorant is where the bridge would come out on the Michigan side. Will it be in the middle of neighbourhoods or populated areas? Or is it like in Windsor, in the middle of an industrial area? Is there a big "anti-bridge" movement? Or is it just that Maroun has lined that many pockets that officials are now beholden to tow his line?

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October 18th, 2011, 7:09 pm
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Post Re: Snyder's Bridge
To be honest, I haven't researched this issue enough to have an informed opinion. I've heard the rhetoric from both sides, but don't know which one is telling the truth in regards to the financing. That part is the key. With that said, even though I've watched a Red Wing game from Matty's suite at JLA, I know that he's a scumbag and wouldn't put anything past him. Just for that alone, I'm more apt to support the new bridge, but I need to look at it further.

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October 19th, 2011, 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Snyder's Bridge
Grink wrote:
I've been away from Windsor for a few years now, but I have semi followed the developments around the new bridge, though I guess I read things from the Canadian bias.

I can understand Moroun's gripe, that essentially it is a government that is trying to draw traffic away from his bridge. But from some of the stunts he has pulled around the Duty Free plaza on the Detroit side, buying up houses in Windsor, leading to blocks of vacant, boarded up houses and driving down property values while attracting more crime to the area (drugs, vandalism, etc) in what was already not one of the better neighbourhoods, and really doing nothing to try and alleviate the traffic that would build up on Huron Church Rd. in Windsor, I don't have much sympathy for him. His proposal would have twinned his current span, increasing traffic right in the middle of the city. (note the Bridge is not considered downtown Windsor, the tunnel is).

The other side is that the City of Windsor fought hard to ensure that the new road leading to the proposed bridge was not simply a "road". The route was engineered to be more community/ evironmentally friendly (as much as a road could be) with underground sections covered with green space, and away from houses as much as possible. The jobs and spinoffs from the construction of the new road would greatly help a city, that much like Detroit, has had a hard time recovering from the economic meltdown over the last few years.

Last, wjb is correct, the Canadian Government is basically offering to do all the initial work around construction, and have the Michigan/ US pay them back over years through the tolls generated. Maybe I need to look more into this, but if one government basically walks up and says, "Hey! We agree, a new bridge would be great! It needs to be a joint effort, of course, but tell ya what. We will build it, and you can just pay us back through the revenues your part will generate. then when it's paid off, you get the revenues all to yourself. Whadda ya say?" I would think that would be a decent deal.

Some parts where I am a bit ignorant is where the bridge would come out on the Michigan side. Will it be in the middle of neighbourhoods or populated areas? Or is it like in Windsor, in the middle of an industrial area? Is there a big "anti-bridge" movement? Or is it just that Maroun has lined that many pockets that officials are now beholden to tow his line?



I guess I should have more appropriatly said an "urban" area of Windsor containing residential and community businesses, but my point still stands.

The contingency against the bridge is basically Matty Moroun himself. He may have the support of a couple of whacked out environmentalist groups that don't want to put something in the water, or something like that, but it is basically him against Snyder on this one.

The bridge would basically connect I-75 or a tributary of I-75 (an industrail National highway) with Canada's industrial highways. It would be more appropriately used by people traveling semi-long distances into Canada and truckers.

What Matty Moroun is most mad about (I'm told), is that right now he owns the duty free gas station, pays no tax on the gas he sells there, he owns a fleet of semi-trucks, and fuels his trucks for free at his gas station, supported by the fleets of other trucks going through the duty free region. Once this new bridge is built there will be very little large truck traffic on the Ambassador, and he will lose millions in lost sales in the duty free store.

I'll add... There are whole plight ridden neighborhoods in Detroit that are currently lacking public services. The residents virtually live there at their own risk. Building this bridge, while not a huge dent, would allow Detroit to "right-size" by a couple of hundred houses. It's not a big improvement, but it is a FREE improvement, and the area gas stations, etc. would see a bump in sales, all paid for by money fronted by Canada. I really see it as a win/win for both sides.


October 19th, 2011, 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Snyder's Bridge
As I said, I tend to read the "Canadian" point of view, and here is a nice opinion piece after the latest go arounds.

http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Vander+Doelen+Bridge+battle+heavyweight+bout/5660891/story.html

Quote:
Matty Moroun, Ambassador Bridge proprietor and unofficial nemesis to the City of Windsor, is starting to look rather desperate as his opponents close in on him.

Bottom line: the cross-border struggle to build a new international bridge across the Detroit River is far from over, even if Moroun and company won the last skirmish in the Michigan legislature.

After a state’s senate committee refused to recommend a bill to finance the new international crossing two weeks ago, many observers on both sides of the border made the mistake of thinking the whole project was dead in the water, so to speak.

Wrong.

It’s still not a sure thing, but all the forces of government and industry continue to be aligned against the Moroun family and its stranglehold on international truck traffic. Almost nobody but the Morouns and their hired allies want it to continue.

That’s why, just before the Michigan vote two weeks ago the state’s most revered industrial icon was trotted out to urge passage of the bill so the bridge can be built. William Clay Ford Jr. isn’t the king of Michigan, but he’s as close to royalty as that state gets.

He politely stated why the health of the auto industry requires a new bridge here, and left it at that.

This week Mich. Gov. Snyder stated repeatedly and unequivocally that he still intends to have a new international bridge built to hook up with the $1.4-billion extension to Highway 401 under construction on the Canadian side.

A mere 3-2 committee vote doesn’t kill it, he says. Michigan still needs a new bridge. He said it in Lansing, he said it in Ottawa, he said it on CBC radio. He means it, quite obviously.

Insiders say there are still multiple ways the governor can get the final approvals through for the bridge, including issuing an executive order.

Meanwhile, Snyder has also launched what I believe is a roundabout attack on the Moroun empire by suggesting that the state replace its retail gasoline tax with a wholesale tax.

A senior state official once told me that one of the reasons the state’s highways are in such poor repair is that the Ambassador Bridge’s duty free fuel sales divert tens of millions of tax dollars from the state’s transportation budget.

It seems to me that transferring the tax to the wholesale level is a back door means of ending that tax loss.

(A quick definition of chutzpah: the Ambassador Bridge is the same company which has spent a reported $5 million on TV ads claiming Michigan should fix its lousy local roads rather than waste money on a new bridge. And they are the same people who are blocking the $2 billion Washington is willing to give Michigan for road construction if the bridge is built using $550 million loaned by Canada).

But Moroun’s worst setback came this week when Judge Prentis Edwards found him personally in contempt for ignoring court orders to reconfigure the plaza on the Detroit side of the bridge.

Moroun has been summoned to present himself before Judge Edwards on Jan. 12 for sentencing, which could include fines and/or jail time.

What a humiliation for a man who makes even fewer public appearances than Bill Ford. And he only does so only after issuing detailed conditions for his appearance, as though he were a rock star. Or royalty.

A man like that is not going to meekly show up, cap in hand, in a dumpy Detroit courtroom for a public spanking in front of sniggering onlookers.

It’s not going to happen, someone predicted to me Friday. At age 84 Moroun’s pride will not permit it. But short of calling in from his death bed, it’s hard to see how he can get out of it.

Moroun’s desperation became evident after his son Matthew accused Judge Edwards of trying to secure an appointment for his own son by beating up on the bridge company at the behest of Gov. Snyder.

Talk about contempt! The accusation is breathtaking, even in the retail circus that is U.S. justice. The Morouns’ attacks on the judiciary also indicate why Ottawa has decided not to cut a deal with the family.

The new crossing is not just about building a bridge any more, it’s also about sovereignty. Canada can’t have one guy controlling the bulk of its international trade, even if he was a benevolent soul and the picture of fair business practices.

The Ambassador Bridge company has taken Canada’s most important border crossing hostage. The region’s automotive and trucking industries are hostage, our international security, even our future economic growth are being held at gunpoint.

People are being kept of work, the creation of new jobs and new wealth is being smothered, and millions of lives are being affected by this stalemate.

So let’s hope Snyder is right that construction of a new bridge can begin within “months” once the Moroun logjam is cleared.

cvanderdoelen@windsorstar.com or 519-255-6852

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Vander+ ... z1crFibvgF

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I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit


November 5th, 2011, 2:43 pm
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Post Re: Snyder's Bridge
I agree with you completely wjb.

BTW, if I'm still in this state when the next election rolls around, Synder has my vote. Love what the guy has done. I didn't vote for him the first time (didn't vote at all) but I'll be sure to turn out next time for him.


November 5th, 2011, 3:56 pm
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