WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2010 313.300.4454

House praised for approving plan to build publicly owned crossing

LANSING, MI— A broad coalition of citizens and community leaders in Southwest Detroit today praised the House for approving a plan to build a new Detroit River International Crossing, or DRIC, that will create much-needed local Michigan jobs and bring new investments to southwest Detroit, Delray and surrounding communities.

The DRIC project is expected to create around 10,000 construction jobs, and many more additional ones through local investments and economic growth, as well as attract more than $1 billion in new investments to the community. The DRIC proposal now goes to the Senate for approval and citizens urged the Senate to follow the House in supporting it.

“Businesses, the community and working families across the board all agree: Building a second international bridge will create much needed Michigan jobs and provide a vital boost to our community that will benefit everyone, not just a few,” said Scott Brines, President of the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition. “We applaud the Michigan House for listening to the people, not those with the money to buy votes. If it were not for the strong leadership of our state Rep. Rashida Tlaib we would not be where we are at today with this important victory. Now, the Senate must say ‘yes’ to the DRIC and ‘yes’ to Michigan jobs, and we urge them to seize this golden opportunity.”

House Bill 4961, which creates the public-private partnership for DRIC, passed 56-51. House Bill 6128, which authorizes agreements to provide community benefits, was also approved, 55-51. The Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition was the leading champion of HB6128.

The DRIC project passed the House Transportation Committee in April, and won wide support from small businesses, the Detroit Regional Chamber, working families, opinion leaders and local columnists, the government of Canada and the State of Michigan. The only major opposition has come from the owner of the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, who is fighting to protect his personal profits at the expense of the local community and Michigan jobs.

“Michigan citizens urge the Senate to support the DRIC without delay because Michigan jobs can’t wait,” said Debra Williams, a Delray property owner and longtime resident of Detroit representing the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition. “All sides agree: The DRIC is the only U.S.-Canada bridge project that will create 10,000 jobs and invest in the Detroit area. Labor, businesses, community and faith leaders, and local families are united in supporting the DRIC and we urge the Senate to approve it without delay.”


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