Michigan DOT and supporters of a third Windsor Detroit international crossing known as the DRIC bridge continue to be stymied in their efforts to get approval from the state legislature. There are a number of reasons for this but one might be legal and constitutional problems. Robert A.
A US District Court judge in Detroit today ruled what seems perfectly obvious to most sane people - that the Ambassador Bridge company is not a US Government agency. That such an issue went to court at all is a reminder that no legal proposition is too bizarre to be thrown into a court in the long running battle over a new bridge over the Detroit River between the US and Canada.
The Ambassador Bridge company has lost its effort to avert a judge's order to tear down non-conforming structures on the US approaches.
Canada's federal transport minister John Baird visited Detroit Monday talking up the importance of building the new DRIC bridge downriver of the Ambassador as the date approaches for votes in the Michigan state legislature on enabling legislation.
The Ambassador bridge company has won a stay of a judge's demolition order so the Michigan Supreme Court can hear their argument for an appeal. In February Judge Prentis Edwards ruled in favor of a Michigan DOT request for a demolition order to bring the bridge's Michigan approaches known as the Gateway Project into conformity with details the state says were agreed in a contract between the bridge company and the state.
The Ambassador Bridge company said today it is preparing to file a claim against Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement following the Candadian Government offer yesterday to lend up to $550m to Michigan to cover its costs in developing the rival DRIC toll bridge.
A judge in Detroit said he is preparing to cite Ambassador Bridge company president Dan Stamper for contempt of court for failure to comply with his order to produce a schedule for demolition of unapproved construction. The construction is built as approaches for a new twin span opposed by the Michigan state government and governments on the Canadian side.
Rival press conferences were staged Friday in Detroit in efforts by the contestants to sway public opinion and mobilize political support for the two competing concepts for upgrading the leading US-Canada truck crossing - upgrading of the Ambassador Bridge or the construction of a new bridge about two miles (3km) downriver.
The protracted political war over US-Canada bridge crossings at the Detroit River is great fun to watch. But it's probably only good for lawyers and reporters. If some kind of settlement were possible it would be of benefit to US-Canada trade, to taxpayers and investors, and to the people of Detroit and Windsor.
Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) which owns the Ambassador Bridge has extended their legal action into NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, asking for $3.5 billion damages based on a claim of discriminatory treatment by the government of Canada. The request for arbitration of a NAFTA dispute comes on top of a law suit lodged earlier this week in US District Court in Washington DC suing a bunch of US and Canadian agencies and top officials for damages and asking the court for injunctive relief.