Michigan voters clear the road for a new Detroit-Windsor bridge

The United States chose the direction of their country last night, and part of that direction included building a bridge to Canada.

Not the metaphorical bridge of electing the presidential candidate preferred by us north of the border. An actual, literal bridge that crosses that border, from Detroit to Windsor.

The Canadian Press reports that voters in Michigan rejected a proposal that would have stopped construction of the Detroit River International Crossing until a statewide referendum was held.

Essentially, they held a referendum on the need for a referendum, and determined a referendum wasn't necessary.

Much ado about a bridge? Well, yes and no.

[ Related: Harper pleased after Michigan residents approve new crossing ]

The Ambassador Bridge linking the two cities is one of the busiest crossing points along the Canada-U.S. border. It is under private ownership, making "border-crossing tycoon" Matty Moroun a wealthy man — his crossing "monopoly" nets him over $80 million a year in tolls.

The construction of a Canadian-financed bridge between Detroit and Windsor will create another point of crossing and ease the considerable congestion on the Ambassador Bridge. Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed the vote result, saying it would benefit the economies of both countries.

The side effect will be more options for border crossers and potentially fewer customers for Moroun — like when a Tim Hortons opens up next to a Dunkin' Donuts.

[ Related: New Windsor-Detroit bridge threatens endangered plants ]

That crafty Moroun had wanted to block the construction and build a second bridge on his own, spending millions of dollars promoting the need for a vote on the Michigan election ballot — known as Proposition 6.

His campaign including near-daily smear attacks hoping to rile anti-Detroit sentiment in the rest of the state, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had supported the Detroit River International Crossing, accusing Moroun of holding special interests that were not in the best interest of the state.

Lawsuits will surely follow, meaning there are more bridges to cross before that bridge can be crossed.

But the rejection of Prop. 6 means Canadians are one step closer to having an alternative to the Ambassador Bridge to use while on cross-border shopping binges or to catch cheaper flights.

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