Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop last week said lame-duck lawmakers will not act on a controversial plan to build a $1 billion, publicly owned bridge over the Detroit River.
Bishop and other lawmakers said they would delay the debate until after January. Bishop told the Detroit Free Press that the project was too complicated and controversial for a lame-duck session.
Passage of the 2010 $3.3 billion transportation budget was delayed for weeks amid debate over a bill closely tied to the bridge project. The bill would have allowed the state to enter into public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure, a key part of the bridge financing plan.
The span would join Detroit and Windsor, Canada, at what is the busiest trade crossing in the U.S. It is estimated to cost $1 billion, and related infrastructure would add $2 billion. The project is a partnership between the U.S., Canada, Michigan, and Ontario.
Critics note that the owner of an existing bridge over the river — the only other bridge — is moving forward with his own privately funded proposal to build a replacement span.