Just who will win the race to begin constructing a new
bridge and border crossing over the Detroit River remains up in the air.
But officials with the Detroit International Bridge Co.,
which owns the aging and congested Ambassador Bridge, claim they have a leg up
with their latest plan.
The company received an environmental permit in mid-March
from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality - a crucial step in the
procedure. But the company needs to obtain more authorizations from the U.S.
Coast Guard, the Canadian government and the provincial Ontario government
before breaking any ground.
Company owner and trucking company mogul Matty Moroun, who
profits from controlling the infrastructure at the busiest border crossing
between the U.S. and Canada, has vowed to build a $1 billion bridge span as a
twin to the 78-year-old Ambassador Bridge.
However, in 2006, a bi-national commission recommended that
a new border crossing be built and operated jointly by governments on both
sides. The commission recommended that the bridge should be located two miles
from the Ambassador to move congestion away from the bottlenecked streets of
Windsor, Ontario, Canada.