MDOT Border crossings, July, 2009

Uploaded by MichiganDOT on 27.07.2009

>> NARRATOR: There's a new and revitalized interest in transportation in Michigan.
Although advances in transporting people and goods have always played a major role
in driving our economy, that has never been more important than today
and will be even more critical in Michigan’s future.
Most of these improvements we now all take for granted and never even think about.
However, in 1900, travel in Michigan could be quite an adventure.
Outside cities, roads were rare and usually were no more than dirt paths.
Bridges were few and far between and airports nonexistent.
So, travelers did what they could to make their destinations
and, when necessary, they relied on ferries or other means to get to the other side.
In 1905, the Michigan State Highway Department was created.
Now known as MDOT, the department has been a recognized innovator,
providing the nation’s first mile of rural concrete highway,
the nation’s first centerline and the nation’s first roadside park.
These days, traveling around Michigan and getting to the other side is quite a bit easier.
Today, Michigan hosts 10 key border crossings that are essential to the security and economies of the U.S. and Canada, and beyond.
These 10 crossings enable over $1 billion in goods to cross between the U.S. and Canada everyday.
The U.S. and Canada, both the largest bilateral trading partnership in the world
and nearly half of this surface trade, passes through Detroit and Port Huron.
Michigan's border with Ontario, Canada, is the busiest trade corridor in the world,
with Detroit the number one gateway for foreign trade, and it’s going to get busier.
Total U.S.-Canada trade by truck is expected to double.
OK, impressive numbers but why should you care?
U.S.-Canada trade supports 7 million American jobs and more than 200,000 of these jobs are in Michigan.
Efficient and safe transportation is crucial to retaining current businesses,
attracting new ones and driving economic growth.
And in Michigan, investments in our border crossings support our homeland security.
For over 100 years, MDOT has invested in building and maintaining Michigan's complex infrastructure,
benefitting Michigan and the overall economies of the U.S. and Canada.
MDOT's continued investments will have powerful results.
First, job creation will be immediate, providing a faster economic stimulus.
Real jobs that will affect all of Michigan, connecting people to work and play
and allowing Michigan workers to work in Michigan.
Second, investments will lay the foundation for future growth and help continue Michigan's economic restructuring
and long-term economic stability.
Finally, investments in our border crossings will enhance security,
providing effective traffic management technologies
that will ensure the highest level of security with fewer travel interruptions.
MDOT remains keenly aware of the economic realties.
It's estimated that every 4-hour delay at the Windsor-Detroit crossing
cost the Michigan economy over $11 million in lost production.
Without changes, congestion and delays at the Windsor-Detroit crossing
will cost an estimated $16.2 billion a year by 2030.
It's easy to see the importance of continued investment in transportation.
Safe, secure and efficient movement of goods by truck, rail, air and water
is a critical component of the Michigan, U.S., Canadian and world economies.
It's clear that role transportation plays in our lives
has changed dramatically since those early days of the first paved roads.
For over 100 years, MDOT has used innovation to maintain and improve our transportation networks,
supporting jobs, the economy and our security.
As in the past, transportation improvements must respond to help drive both Michigan and the U.S. economy
in the new global competition of the 21st century.