The Financial Stability Agreement is more than simply the ceding of control of power from the City of Detroit to the State of Michigan To the contrary, it is recognition by the Michigan Department of Treasury and the City of Detroit that, if the two work together, there will be great improvements in the community and in the state. By example, among the topics of Annex E to the Agreement is a list of supportive activities to be provided by the Treasury Department and state.
Clearly, the city is having an awful time with its infrastructure improvements. At Annex E, Page 2, the Agreement includes a paragraph designated as “Invest in Transportation Infrastructure.” This includes major activity in the community, such as moving ahead with the New International Trade Crossing Project. This project, commonly called DRIC for the Detroit River International Crossing, has changed its name in the hope that a good project with a weak brand will do better with a new name. However, one should recognize that the DRIC project was a good project under its old name and is still a good one with its new one.
Further, the Invest in Transportation Infrastructure includes expanding and facilitating an improved Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal. As stated in the Agreement, this will “ensure that southeast Michigan has regional facilities with sufficient capacity and interconnectivity to provide for existing and future intermodal demand and reducing time, costs, and congestion.” One must recognize that without a new international trade crossing, the Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal (DIFT project) will not occur. DIFT cannot be built until the engineering and plans provide for an entrance contemplating the location of the International industrial/truck bridge.
If a new bridge is built at the present Detroit International Bridge site, the terminal will have great difficulty in being appropriately located on the west side of Livernois and north side of Vernor. DIFT is a key to the economic well being of the region. Without proper intermodal transportation, production costs will go up dramatically, and the demand for products in our area will decline (a new rail tunnel also is being planned that would effectively connect international trade from Canada and beyond to DIFT).
Local transportation is also included in the infrastructure improvement plan. The capacity improvement for I-94, from I-96 to Connor Avenue, is a priority. Further, the final engineering and construction of the west Detroit junction railroad project provides for a shorter and faster route for inter-city passengers.
The Financial Stability Agreement bodes well for the redevelopment of Detroit, because the basic transportation infrastructure needs will be supplied. The Governor, Mayor, and City Council are to be applauded for a job well done.