Detroit, Michigan's race for a new bridge to Canada is coming closer and closer to reality. Billionaire and current owner of the Ambassador Bridge, Manuel Maroun, has been trying to fund and start construction of a new bridge for years now, and the plan is finally picking up steam. The Detroit Free Press reported that The US Coast Guard approved a permit for the bridge on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016, finding that the new bridge would not have significant environmental impacts. The current plan is to build the second bridge alongside the Ambassador Bridge, a bridge that has been owned by the Marouns for decades. Although the US Coast Guard has approved the plan, there are still many roadblocks for the billionaire to overcome.
For this bridge to be constructed, the Maroun’s would not only have to get permits from the United States but from Canada as well, as it is an international bridge. The bridge also has to pass a number of tests from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and U.S. National Park Service before starting construction and the equivalent of those national services in Canada. Many citizens of Detroit are unhappy with the Coast Guard's approval, due to health reasons, so receiving said permits in Canada may be much harder for the Marouns due to the stricter safety laws in the country. Therefore, many are hoping the bridge will get denied by the Canadian side due to environmental reasons and are very upset that the United States Government did not do a more thorough environmental impact study.
The Ambassador bridge is currently one of the busiest crossings in North America. Not only is the Maroun family trying to build a new bridge, but so is the state of Michigan. A publicly funded bridge has been in the works for years, and the plans for that bridge are currently in Delray, a poorer neighborhood in Detroit’s Southwest neighborhood. A new bridge would lessen the traffic and travel time when crossing, but may also lead to some serious health effects for those living near the bridge and in the buffer zones.
The Ambassador Bridge has seen better days, often being closed for maintenance. The bridge is over 80 years old and a new bridge would be significantly nicer and easier to maintain, which would be good news for drivers. Less traffic and nicer driving conditions seem like a wonderful idea, but some in Detroit are rallying to try and educate those in power about the environmental issues the bridge could have on neighborhoods close in proximity to the bridge. It will be a number of years before Detroit sees a new bridge, but until then drivers and citizens of Detroit anxiously wait to see who will build it first, the billionaire or the government.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to poor traffic conditions, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of personal injury cases including car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and bridge collisions. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.