A bill that would have approved the proposed publicly owned crossing, the Detroit River International Crossing project, was not introduced or voted out of the state senate transportation committee before the Michigan legislative session adjourned for the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election.
According to the president of the Ontario Trucking Association, David Bradley, while there is still a lot of work to do, a majority of business and public interest groups on both sides of the border support DRIC and there are still many reasons to remain optimistic that a deal can be done before the end of the year.
The chairman of the senate transportation committee remains committed to introducing a new bill that would give DRIC the green light and address concerns of the Republican dominated senate, say supporters. Last week, both houses of the Michigan legislature approved a Michigan Department of Transportation budget bill which provides for extended funding for DRIC research and planning. The senate majority leader, a key political player, has committed to Canada's transport minister that there will be an up and down vote on DRIC in the senate, says OTA.
Immediately following the Nov. 2 election, the current Michigan legislature reconvenes for a lame-duck session. There will be 12 legislative days over a month, so there is still time to introduce and pass the DRIC bill.
"This is not to under-estimate the amount of work there is to do, the ongoing opposition from a vociferous few, or the political wild cards that could come into play, but DRIC continues to be the best option for Windsor-Detroit according to a bi-national panel who studied the issue for 10 years and the vast majority of stakeholders," OTA said in a statement.