Thursday, January 15, 2009

The battle of the bridge goes on

Good news. The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a government-led plan to build a new bridge to Canada a mile downriver from the current one. Just don't expect to see it built any time soon. Matty Moroun, the owner of the Ambassador, has vowed to sue the Detroit River International Crossing Project to prevent it from competing with his plan to build a new, privately-held span directly alongside the Ambassador. DRIC has strong support in Southwest Detroit and Canada, but Moroun is a billionaire and a bully (see Forbes) with many Michigan lawmakers on his side. This will be a long fight.


Anonymous said...

Good news? Ha! Yeah, It's wonderful!! As a tax payer in Michigan, I CAN'T WAIT to have my tax dollars fund a bridge that's going to cost billions of dollars when Matty is building an expansion with his own money. How does that make any sense?!

Cooper said...

A few good reasons to support the public effort despite the cost:

1. DRIC will cause less damage to the neighborhoods on either side.

2. DRIC will be a mile downriver from the Ambassador. Having two bridges will alleviate traffic and reduce the threat from terrorism. It's harder to take out two bridges than one.

3. If Moroun wins, he will close the Ambassador and open a new bridge directly alongside it. There will still be just one bridge in operation and one major terrorist target.

4. One man should not have exclusive control of one of the most important border crossings in the world. In particular, Matty Moroun should not have exclusive control of this border crossing given his history of secrecy, monopoly, hostility to inspection, and the extensive damage he's already done to neighborhoods on both sides of the bridge.