Ambassador Bridge owner released from jail

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 1/16/2012

The billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge and his company president were released from jail in Wayne County, MI, over the weekend, pending an appeal. Owner Matty Moroun and Detroit International Bridge Company President Dan Stamper spent 32 hours behind bars after failing to meet court-ordered deadlines on the bridge’s Gateway Project.

Moroun, 84, told reporters upon release that he loved his country and missed his family, the Detroit Free Press wrote.

Judge Prentis Edwards ordered Moroun and Stamper to jail on Thursday, Jan. 12, for failing to comply with his February 2010 order to provide direct ramp access from the bridge plaza to major roadways as part of the Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project.

The bridge, which connects Detroit with Windsor, Ontario, currently utilizes city streets on both sides of the border to carry traffic to and from major highways. The bridge carries an average of 8,000 commercial trucks and 68,000 travelers each day.

Part of Edwards’ order in 2010 was for Moroun’s company to remove illegal buildings, including a fueling station and toll booths that were constructed on city-owned property. To date, those structures are still standing, and the gateway has still not been built.

Moroun and Stamper are appealing Edwards’ ruling. Their appeal hearing is set for Feb. 2.

In addition to owning the Ambassador Bridge, Moroun also controls less-than-truckload carrier Central Transport International and holding company Universal Truckload Services.

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