Sorry, Matty Maroun, but the Detroit-Windsor bridge is going ahead as planned.
In a press conference today in Windsor, ON, Canadian Transit Minister Lisa Raitt and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder named their respective members for the managing team of the new Detroit-Windsor bridge, a project intended to be built by 2020.
Among those named to the new Bridge Club are Canada’s Kristine Burr, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy at Transort Canada, and Birgit M. Klohs, the President of the Right Place, Inc. which is a regional partnership dedicated to getting businesspeople to invest in the state of Michigan (a valiant, courageous aspiration).
The $1 billion Detroit-Windsor Bridge, which has been tentatively called the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge, is going to be publicly owned, which stands starkly in contrast with the privately-owned Ambassador Bridge, the only existing bridge that connects Windsor with Detroit. Matty Maroun, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, has been fighting plans for a second bridge for years now, arguing instead for a couple extra lanes to be added to his bridge. Last month, Maroun’s legal bid to prevent the second bridge was dismissed by a U.S. federal appeals court, after Maroun’s lawyers pulled out all the stops to de-legitimize the DRIC project. Maroun’s team accused the DRIC of being detrimental to the environment, but he really meant that it would be detrimental to his pools of gold.
Maroun, who has been noted by some as the real-life incarnation of Mr. Burns, says that the fight to prevent the DRIC bridge is far from over. However, from the looks of it, the Bridge Club are pretty confident they’ll be able to get this done. The project still needs $250 million in US funding to build a new Customs plaza in Detroit, but if the bridge could mean more efficient trading between the countries as promised, that price sounds like it’s well worth it.