Supporters, chief among them outgoing Governor Jennifer Granholm, hoped the project would be an economic boon for the state by facilitating the exchange of goods between the U.S. and Canada, says Jeff Bennett. Currently, $1.2 billion of goods cross Michigan's border points each day, a significant portion consisting of auto parts and completed vehicles.
Approval of the project was ultimately complicated by the proposed public-private ownership structure and the state's braoder economic situation, Bennett writes:
"The issue became embroiled in politics as supporters and opponents argued over whether a private individual, specifically billionaire businessman Manuel Moroun, should have control of an international crossing. Supporters...said a new bridge would also create jobs and millions of dollars in annual toll revenue for Michigan. Opponents questioned why an economically depressed state would want to build another bridge."