History and Formation of the CBC In 2008, the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition (CBC) was formed as a coalition of diverse community stakeholders in response to a federal study that determined the location for the Gordie Howe International Bridge (GHIB) to Canada would be built through the Delray community in Southwest Detroit.
The federal study concluded that while truck traffic would double, air quality would improve. Concerns over this finding and how the bridge would significantly impact an already underserved EJ community led to the formation of the CBC, as an independent coalition of residents, nonprofits, businesses, churches, and government representatives to secure a Community Benefits Agreement.
In 2014 the CBC became a 501(c)3 organization with a community elected Board of Directors. In 2015, the CBC led efforts to establish a community advisory stakeholder group (CAG) with the purpose of engaging the Delray-Southwest Detroit host community in development and implementation of community benefits for the new bridge project. The CAG represents and advocates for the host community in dealings with the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority, State of Michigan and other involved parties
CBC Accomplishments and Wins We have secured over $45M in community benefits programs through city-state-Canadian negotiations, including:
- Optional home relocations;
- Programs for home mitigation (windows, air filtration, HVAC upgrades);
- Critical home repairs (roofs, furnaces);
- Three new State air monitoring stations including Black Carbon to signify diesel,
- A mobile air monitoring vehicle,
- Home indoor air and noise monitoring,
- Long term Health Impact Assessments (HIAs)
What Else We Do The CBC also provides critical information and support for the impacted community by ensuring residents are aware of & have access to benefits (listed above) and other programs including: vibration/noise monitoring, events/information sessions, and surveys. We host regular community engagement meetings & events, truck counts, home air monitoring, resident surveying, and COVID-19 emergency services (food, technology). The CBC also works with university researchers and field experts to research & strategize buffering/noise wall mitigations, and participate in community-based participatory research partnerships including long term Health Impact Assessments (HIAs).
About the Bridge The Gordie Howe International Bridge will have a 165-acre Customs Area located in central Delray between Post Street and Campbell. The I-75 Service Drive will be widened on the north side from Clark to Springwells; the first one to three houses from the Service Drive on those streets were purchased by the project. Near Livernois and Campbell, 30-foot elevated ramps will cross over the highway for trucks and cars to enter customs.
The bridge developer, Bridging North America, was hired by Canada and Michigan at the end of 2017. Initial steps toward construction began in 2018 and bridge construction is estimated to take at least 5 years.
It is estimated that truck traffic will more than double.
History of the Bridge Project
Formal plans for the development of a new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor began in 2001 with the formation of the Border Transportation Partnership, and preliminary engagement with the community. Based on recommendations of the Partnership, a Local Advisory Council was convened almost monthly beginning in 2005.
In spring of 2008, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released, outlining predicted social, environmental, and economic costs of the project. It did not mention community benefits. Following its release, the Community Benefits Coalition convened elected its first board.In 2009 and 2010, Delray and Southwest Detroit residents attended multiple Michigan State House and Senate hearings, demanding that the terms of the new bridge’s construction include a community benefits agreement (CBA). In 2010, the Michigan Legislature barred further funds from being allocated to the project, and communication with the community ended abruptly.
In 2012, the U.S.-Canada Crossing Agreement established that Canada would fully fund the project, and paved the way for the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, which was first composed in the summer of 2014. By the fall, Canada purchased the first batch of vacant parcels in Delray that fell within the project footprint. Through efforts of the CBC, Detroit City Council allocated 50% of these funds directly for use in the effected community.
In June 2015, the relocation process began for the approximately 800 residents in the project footprint. .
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