The new bridge over the Detroit River will create thousands of jobs in  Michigan during and after its construction and add billions of dollars to the  state’s economy, according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann  Arbor.

The proposed New International Trade Crossing connecting Detroit and Windsor  will mean about 12,000 jobs during each of the four years of construction,  according to the 19-page report, “Analysis of the Economic Contribution of  Constructing the New International Trade Crossing: A New Bridge Linking Detroit  and Windsor.”

Those jobs include construction associated with the bridge and plaza and  spinoff jobs in Michigan and the U.S., as well as road construction jobs  provided by a matching highways grant from the federal government, the report  said. The spinoff jobs include everything from retail to manufacturing to  services.

Building the bridge also would pump billions into the state economy.  Michigan’s gross state product (the total value of all goods and services  produced in the state) would increase by $1.5 billion during the four-year  project, and another $1.5 billion would be paid to workers.

In addition, the state would collect $150 million in income taxes. Also,  state taxes on the other projects that will be built with federal money coming  as part of the bridge deal would add an additional $180 million in revenue.

The state expects $2.2 billion in federal matching funds as a result of the  $550 million contribution for the bridge project from the Canadian government.  The federal government typically matches the state contribution on a 4-to-1  ratio. The money can be used on highway and infrastructure projects throughout  the state; it’s not limited to the bridge project.

“Initially, the construction of the bridge itself will serve as an economic  stimulus, providing jobs and state revenues,” said Kim Hill, the study’s lead  researcher. “Once construction is completed and the bridge operations have  begun, the region’s additional freight shipping capability will attract  private-sector investment.” When completed, bridge operations will mean 1,400  permanent jobs, including toll booth, plaza and maintenance workers, Hill  said.

Private investment in the $2.1 billion project will create 6,800 permanent  spinoff jobs in a variety of areas, the report said.

The economic impact is $630 million a year in gross state product, as well as  a $613 million increase in personal wages and a $62 million rise in state tax  revenue over four years.

It’s all welcome news for the construction industry.

“This is the single largest construction project in southeast Michigan in  many, many years,” said Kevin Koehler, president of the Construction Association  of Michigan. “It will put a lot of our guys sitting on the benches in our halls  back to work.”

The bridge, he said, dwarfs other local building projects such as the new  Wayne County jail and the Cobo Center expansion.

The project will have wider-reaching effects, with the addition of matching  federal dollars for highway improvements.

“Clearly, a project of this scale, along with the federal matching funds,  will have employment and economic effects that will impact many diverse  industries throughout the state,” Hill said.

Mike Johnston, vice president of government affairs with the Michigan  Manufacturing Association, called the project an “economic multiplier” because  of the jobs it will create outside of bridge construction and operations. “It’s  great news,” he said. “The bottom line is that it will create jobs.”

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