Bridge proposal to be on ballot, Michigan Supreme Court decides - New York News

Bridge proposal to be on ballot, Michigan Supreme Court decides

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A sticker encouraging people to sign a petition for the bridge proposal.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) A sticker encouraging people to sign a petition for the bridge proposal. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

"To build another bridge, if it's going to help, then that's one thing, but if it's not going to help, it's going to do more hurt, then we don't need it," said Clifton Reid.

He lives in Delray, the long-suffering, downtrodden neighborhood where the new international trade crossing would be built if Governor Rick Snyder and the Canadian government get their way, having already announced plans for a new bridge.

However, the Michigan Supreme Court has now ruled a ballot proposal will be on the November ballot, one that will ask voters statewide to decide if the government should build a bridge.

"It's more than about us.  It's about the 600,000 people who signed petitions, and it's about all taxpayers in Michigan who are going to be paying for a bridge well into the future that we don't need and we can't afford," said Mickey Blashfield with the Detroit International Bridge Company.

The DIBC is ecstatic.  They have spent millions of dollars fighting the government bridge intent on preserving their monopoly at the border crossing between the U.S. and Canada and intent on building their own second span of the Ambassador Bridge.

However, Canada has said it will not allow that to be built, instead preferring to build the bridge between Windsor and Delray that would allow direct access between I-75 here and the 401 on the Canadian side.

"What the governor's administration said and pretty much what the legal analyst is... it won't affect this new bridge, so we want to see this thing happen, but with benefits, and we're still waiting for an agreement to make sure that this community is protected as this new bridge goes forward," said Scott Brines with the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition.

"All we're saying is we want to have a quality of life here that's comparable to other people, not comparable to billionaire (Matty) Moroun is having, but just comparable to other people, and he's fighting against that," said Thomas Cervenak with Delray Neighborhood House.

So how will this impact the people who live in Delray?  Many say they expect further delays.

"That limbo hurts the community because people are saying, well, I'm leaving, they're going to take it and this sort of stuff, so it is something that profoundly affects people," Cervenak said.

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