Jul 1, 2010

Fire that shut down the Ambassador Bridge reinforces the need for the DRIC bridge

The Ambassador Bridge Company and their Republican benefactors have been telling anyone who will listen or they can give a campaign contributions to that we do not need the planned Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge over the Detroit River between Canada and Windsor that will be built just two miles south of the 80 year-old current bridge.

They are also saying there is no value in redundancy in a post 9/11 world. Not true, and the importance of redundancy was reinforced just this past weekend, when Canada bound traffic over the bridge was shut down because of a massive industrial fire at a plastic factory about a mile from the bridge in Canada. Truck traffic had no alternative but to wait or head 60 miles north to Port Huron.

When thousands of trucks stopped or delayed, Michigan factories stop running.

The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest commercial border crossing in all of North America, handling 20 percent more trucks than its closest competitor and almost double the commercial traffic of the next busiest crossing on the Canadian border.

In all, almost 30 percent of all U.S./Canada trade and over 25 percent of the truck traffic between the U.S. and Canada passes through the Detroit-Windsor gateway. This U.S.-Canadian trade directly supports 7.1 million U.S. jobs, 221,500 Michigan jobs, and one in three Canadian jobs. More than $1 billon in trade crosses the bridge everyday.

Any delay or shutdown would be disastrous to the area economy.

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