Moroun hopes to twin the Ambassador Bridge

| 7/19/2006

Ambassador Bridge officials in Detroit are hoping an environmental agency approves their plan to build an additional six-lane bridge next to the 77-year-old structure.

Staff in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirmed for Land Line that the Detroit International Bridge Company submitted a request July 13 for permits to put an additional span across the Detroit River.

The existing bridge, by far the busiest border-crossing point between the U.S. and Canada, is privately owned and controlled by reclusive billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun.

The company is proposing a cable-stayed bridge, 6,200 feet long and 102 feet wide, bookmarked by towers of 105 feet on the U.S. side and 171 feet on the Canadian side.

The request indicates that the bridge company will not dredge the Detroit River or place piers in the riverbed.

So far, there are no plans for additional toll plazas or inspection areas, but Moroun owns large amounts of land on both sides of the river. Area media sources speculate the billionaire has plans for traffic routes and plazas on his land.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is one of many hurdles the bridge company would have to clear to get construction underway.

A joint committee of U.S. and Canadian officials recently insisted that the next border crossing would make the most sense two miles south of the Ambassador Bridge, but Moroun’s company continues to forge ahead with plans for twinning the Ambassador.