Between Michigan and Canada, in the Detroit region, is the Ambassador Bridge, which was built in 1929, is wearing out, and is not adequate for today's monster trucks and the vast payloads they carry. Heavy tractor-trailers can't go through the tunnel. There is essentially no backup route other than Port Huron or Buffalo
And recently, a decision was made between Michigan and Canada to build a new one, a couple miles south of the privately owned Ambassador. Michigan wouldn't even have to pay a cent. Knowing how cash-strapped and divided our state government now is, Canada made an astounding offer last month: They'll pay our share of the start-up costs needed, as much as $550 million. Later, when the DRIC bridge is up and running, they'll get it back out of the tolls.
What's the hold up? A billionaire. The guy getting the money from the only bridge, the monopoly on the traffic from auto parts and car manufacturers between Detroit and Windsor Canada.
How profitable is a bridge? In 2007, Moroun won the right to sell fuel tax-free at his adjacent plaza. Each gallon sold earns an estimated 60 cents of profit.
Last January, a judge threw him in jail for a day for defying an agreement with the state to build new freeway ramps and access roads to the bridge. Instead of following the plan, he routed them right into his fuel plaza. The following October the state sued Moroun’s company, claiming it sold 91-octane fuel labeled as more expensive 93, and also sold winter gas into the summer, when a pricier blend is mandated in order to reduce pollution. http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/aaron-robinson-battling-government-detroit-bridge-raises-national-issues
He is so deranged, he brought a lawsuit to court, against the U.S. government, contending that his company has an exclusive rights to operate a span to Canada in Detroit without competition.
While agreeing that the 1920s legislative acts in the two nations gave the bridge company a valid argument to raise in court, Judge Collyer said that Marouns lawyers "overplay their hand" by suggesting, absent a specific statute, "an exclusive bridge franchise which the federal government cannot interfere (with) in perpetuity."
In March 2016, Maroun finally figured out how to get a new span addition to the Ambassador, by purchasing the city owned park, Riverside Park, from Detroit, and once again, money makes the world go round. Maroun also has to pay for and give about 5 acres to Detroit adjacent to Riverside Park. Effectively, getting 5 acres of what he wants, by trading the unwanted land next to a park for the park land he wants, plus 3 million dollars. Detroit should have asked for 300 million. It would have helped their budget momentarily.
If you read between the lines, for the past 15 years, Maroun had effectively and illegally closed the park he now buys, and paved the way for this purchase with made up post 9-11 national security claims.
How ever... Canada isn't giving Maroun permission to set another end of the bridge in their country. Regardless of Maroun's desires, they simply don't want to allow his monopoly to continue, and to be in collusion or to lose their reputation of "nice Canadians" by having anything to do with him anymore.
In response, the Ambassador’s current owner Moroun initiated and poured millions of dollars into a ballot proposal for the 2012 election to amend the Michigan constitution to make the new bridge contingent on a statewide vote.
Guess who is in control of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority? Billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun control of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. Michigan Attorney General William Schuette, without explanation, has declined to review the deal. Any guess how much that cost Mahoun? http://www.joelontheroad.com/good-job-free-press-keep-the-heat-on-matty/