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Bishop: Bridge vote waiting on MDOT data

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-905627.mp3

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI –

Business leaders are urging the state Senate to act soon on a proposal to allow a public-private partnership to build a new international bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario.

But, as Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the plan is stalled in a fight for information between Senate Republicans and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

AUDIO:
Business and political leaders at a business and policy conference on Mackinac Island are debating the future of a new international bridge. Supporters say it's needed to allow anticipated traffic to carry people and goods across the Detroit River to retailers, hospitals and factories in Michigan and Canada.

But Senate Republican leaders say they won't call a vote on the project until the Michigan Department of Transportation provides financial reports that detail whether the deal will be good for taxpayers.
Kirk Steudle is the director of M-DOT. He says the reports would give prospective bidders on the project sensitive information.

"It's not on the people's interest, it's not in Michigan's taxpayers' interest, interest to have that floating around," he says.

Steudle says he's negotiating with GOP leaders on ways to confidentially share M-DOT's reports.

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