The plan for a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., was dealt a severe blow Thursday after the Michigan Senate rejected a bill critical to funding the proposed $5.3 billion project.
Passage of the bill would have allowed the state to accept $550 million from the Canadian government to fund the country’s share of the New International Trade Crossing.
Proponents say the proposed bridge over the Detroit River two miles downstream of the 80-year-old Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing on the U.S.-Canada border, would boost trade between the countries.
NITC has wide support among Michigan businesses, local governments and international trade groups. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder surprised fellow party members last January by making it a priority of his new administration.
The main opposition to the NITC comes from the Ambassador Bridge’s owner, billionaire transportation executive Manuel “Matty” Moroun. He is reported to have made lavish campaign contributions to Republican members of the state legislature, and underwrote a statewide television campaign against the NITC.