No money in Obama’s budget plan to build customs plaza for US-Canada bridge
DETROIT — President Barack Obama has failed to put money in his federal budget proposal for a customs plaza on the Detroit side of a planned $3.5-billion bridge between the U.S. city and Canada.
Obama sent his $3.9-trillion fiscal 2015 budget to Congress on Tuesday, but it doesn’t include the $250 million cost of a border inspection plaza.
The Canadian government is funding most of the bridge, expected to open in 2020.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters calls the decision not to fund the plaza a “grave oversight.”
New International Trade Crossing coalition spokesman Tom Shields says the full $250 million isn’t needed in one year but can be spread over several years.
Ottawa announced in its budget last month that it would spend some $631 million over the next two years to help build the new Detroit-Windsor crossing.
The commitment included $470 million in new funding, which was in addition to money already in department budgets.
Delays in crossing the border are a major headache for the auto industry, which relies on the timely delivery of parts and other supplies to keep their production lines moving.
— With files from The Canadian Press