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Legislature to continue hearings on second international bridge

Matt Callow
A new bridge would compete against the Ambassador Bridge which spans the river between Detroit and Windsor, On.

 A state Senate panel is expected to continue hearings soon on a proposed second bridge between Detroit and Canada. Lawmakers say they still have a lot of testimony they need to hear before they can make a decision.

State Senator Geoff Hansen is from Oceana County. He says people ask him every day about the Detroit bridge proposal, even on the west side of the state.

“It’s been brought up to a really high profile thing with all the advertising on the TV and all the fliers that have come out,” Hansen said.

Hansen was one of a handful of targets for negative campaigns from a conservative group supported by the owners of the existing Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. The group went after Republican lawmakers who had yet to make a decision on the bridge. Hansen says he tells people who ask him about the project that there is too much information to gather and too much at stake to make a quick decision one way or the other.

The last time the panel met was on a tour ofthe proposed bridge site. Committee Chairman Senator Mike Kowall says it’s important for lawmakers to understand what the state would be getting into by building another bridge.

"How you’re affecting a community, where the proposed bridge is going to land. Until you get down and really put your hands on it, it’s really difficult,” Kowall said.

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration hopes lawmakers make the decision to approve the long-talked-about bridge project before the end of the year.