Lawsuits start to fly around Ambassador Bridge

Nov. 24, 2009
No one is jumping to open new ramps that lead to the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is refusing to allow traffic on the feeders from I-75 and I-96 because it says by doing so the Detroit International Bridge Co. (DIBC) would be breaking its contract.

No one is jumping to open new ramps that lead to the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is refusing to allow traffic on the feeders from I-75 and I-96 because it says by doing so the Detroit International Bridge Co. (DIBC) would be breaking its contract.

According to agency spokesman Bill Schreck, opening the ramps would not allow the bridge-building company to construct two new bridges over 23rd Street, which in turn would leave MDOT vulnerable to lawsuits filed by “property owners whose land was taken [by the bridge company] without their permission.”

MDOT still may be facing court time anyway, thanks to a lawsuit filed by none other than DIBC. DIBC is claiming that by keeping the ramps closed area residents are being forced to deal with “thousands of trucks” that must use local roads as a detour. DIBC also is charging MDOT with fraud and breaching the agreement between the two parties.

DIBC President Dan Stamper told the Detroit News that MDOT is on to bigger and better things, including the construction of the Detroit River International Crossing just two miles away from the Ambassador Bridge.

“They are now working with the Canadians,” he told the Detroit News. “That would cause damage to our bridge . . . taking up to 75% of the traffic away from the Ambassador Bridge.”