Michigan DOT is proposing to lift a ban on two of three 'hazardous materials' crossing the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor but to impose more encompassing escort requirements. The change follows a long period of study including a "Hazardous Materials Routing Synopsis Report" which recommended the blanket ban continue on explosives but that radioactive and corrosive materials be allowed across the bridge with an escort.
The big story in Detroit and Windsor the past week has been large piles of coke rising on the waterfront not far from the Ambassador Bridge. It's what they call 'petcoke' or petroleum coke, a byproduct of oil refining. The stuff comes from a Marathon oil refinery and will be shipped out for fuel in coal power plants and other boilers and furnaces.
It is a routine by-product of refining Canada's tar sands crude oil into gasoline and diesel, and is a harmless coke.
Suddenly for the local scribes however is a horrible environmental hazard and menace!
Supporters of new international toll bridge in Detroit win big in election day ballot Proposal 6 - 60/40 vote
Supporters of a new Canadian sponsored bridge downriver of the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor won a big political victory in voting in Michigan Tuesday. The new bridge got 2.63m votes to 1.78m or 60% to 40% in so called Proposal 6.
A Yes vote for Michigan's Proposal 6 is a no-brainer. Sloppy and malicious local reporting and demagoguery out of the Governor's office and a local Canadian consul has portrayed Proposal 6 as barring any new international bridge or tunnel to protect a supposed "monopoly" at the Ambassador Bridge.
Detroit bridgeowner Matty Moroun is blessed with profoundly stupid opponents. Take one to start with: Keith Crain a local publisher who penned a column at the weekend headed "Now's the time to sell the (Ambassador) bridge, Matty".
Actually now would be a terrible time for the Morouns to be trying to sell the bridge.
The United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit) ruled today that the Ambassador Bridge company is NOT a federal government instrumentality. Outside of Detroit legal circles this is hardly a startling revelation.
The company after all is family owned. The family owns the great toll bridge between Detroit and Windsor. All the officers and directors are appointed by the Moroun family.
It is not even a toll concession. The bridge is the property of the bridge company in perpetuity.
Ambassador Bridge starting all-electronic tolling Oct 1, completion of contentious Gateway project celebrated
2012-09-20: Randy Spader, director of operations at the Ambassador Bridge says they're aiming to go all-electronic or cashless at the first of three tollpoints about October 1st. Trucks inbound to the US from Canada will be tolled by transponder or license plate cameras only, no more cash.
2012-09-12: The Ambassador Bridge, the highest volume toll crossing between the US and Canada will go all-electronic (AET) at the first of three toll points before the end of the month. Trucks inbound sporting 6C sticker tags on their windshields will be tolled with the latest Sirit IDentity 6204 readers or they'll be photographed by JAI cameras front, rear, and side view and billed by mail.
Again and again you'll read that the Ambassador Bridge handles 10,000 trucks per day. The Detroit-Windsor media report the "ten thousand daily" almost, well, daily. Wikipedia has it too.
The bridge company itself is partly at fault. They say on their website the bridge "carries more than 10,000 commercial vehicles on a typical weekday."
The Detroit Free Press and other local media are sensationalizing the activities of a nuisance caller. Twice now in the past week someone has called authorities and said there was a bomb - first in the Detroit Windsor Tunnel and then yesterday at the Ambassador Bridge just a mile away.
In both cases the local media and authorities have been played for suckers and have treated the calls as credible threats. In neither case was there any bomb.
There was no "bomb threat." The Detroit media have it all wrong.