Remember back in September 2015 when the Moroun family was against a second Ambassador bridge being built and filed a lawsuit to make sure their privately owned bridge stayed in business? Well, it looks like they are finally getting their way, sort of.
Despite the constant back and forth between Canadian officials and the Moroun family, Manuel Moroun to be specific, the family has received permission from the Transport Canada federal agency to build their second Ambassador Bridge. The permit has been at least a year in the making and comes with a few stipulations. Canada is requesting that the Morouns demolish their previous Ambassador Bridge once their new bridge is complete and ready for use. Additional requirements include environmental protection, protection of Canada’s indigenous people, infrastructure improvement, and the creation of green spaces.
Out With The Old, In With The New
In the late 1920s, the Ambassador Bridge was one of the biggest and daring bridges to be built, now it is old and showing it’s age. The bridge can barely sustain the amount of traffic and trade that comes across every day since it was built with only 4 lanes. According to the Detroit Free Press, in a statement on September 6, 2017 Manuel Moroun said that the new Ambassador Bridge is expected to have 6 lanes not including lanes dedicated to NEXUS, FAST, and bus traffic. Moroun also mentioned that the cost of the new Ambassador Bridge is about $1 billion in private funds, roughly half of which has already been spent.
On a side note, the Gordie Howe Bridge is still expected to open in 2023. This is the bridge the Government of Canada was trying to build before being wrestled into court to fight lawsuit after lawsuit from the Morouns. So while Transport Canada has given the Morouns permission to build a second Ambassador bridge, the Canadian government would much rather back thier own project. In fact, architects, engineers, and other contractors are still being interviewed to build the Gordie Howe Bridge, not to mention millions of dollars have already spent on purchasing property and roadbeds. Even the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has spoken of how the Gordie Howe Bridge will be the country's primary infrastructure project, which comes as no surprise with the amount of bad blood between the Canadian Government and the Morouns.
Gordie Howe Bridge vs Ambassador Bridge
Now that the Morouns have the green light from Transport Canada, people might expect the new Ambassador Bridge Project to break ground by the end of this year, but that's not hopeful. Additional permits are needed from both Canada and the US, so construction will most likely begin sometime in late 2018 or early 2019 and may be completed by 2023. It should also be noted that both bridges will utilize tolls. However, since the Morouns' bridge is privately owned it's unknown what their set toll price will be? The Gordie Howe Bridge, on the other hand, is expected to have a more ‘economic pricing’ since it is a Canadian government project.
Either way, the public will win. With 2 bridges in the works in addition to the already existing Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, a future economic boom and regional popularity are sure to follow. These new bridges will also allow for safer transportation between Michigan and Canada. Back in 2016, the Transport Canada agency cited the current Ambassador Bridge with being a "risk to public safety." The citations included safety hazards such as not having railings and having crumbling concrete. Thankfully, no one standing under the bridge was killed or injured by having pieces of concrete falling on them and no motorists had driven off the side of the bridge without railing to hold them back. However, it the bridge hadn't been inspected and closed, it may have only been a matter of time before a pedestrian death or car crash occurred.
Also, with the addition of two new, safer bridges, travel between Detroit and Windsor will be much quicker and less congested. While repairing the bridge to bring it up safety standards was the right call, during the time it was closed, traffic barriers limited drivers to a single lane at certain points, causing major traffic congestion. Also, since there are currently only two options to drive between Canada and Michigan, the bridge and tunnel routes tend to be extra congested during daily peak hours and especially on holidays. Plus, no one wants to keep raging Redwings and Maple Leaf fans away from travelling back and forth to hockey games! The problem with any kind of limited mobility is that it leads to aggressive driving and road rage. Aggressive driving and related aggressive driving car crashes and road rage car accidents are a big problem when according to The American Safety Council, 66% of traffic falatilies are casued by aggressive driving. Therefore, the construction of a new Ambassador Bridge and the new Gordie Howe bridge will be welcomed by citizens of Detroit and Windsor alike.
Considering the frequent backups on the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the current Ambassador Bridge, it is about time that another thoroughfare between Canada and Michigan is being built. Soon, Michiganders have the choice between 3 options to commute to Canada. Since 3 travel routes don't completely get rid of traffic congestion however, drivers still need to be on the look out to avoid getting into road rage car crashes or aggressive driving accidents. The attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC are here to help any victims of these and any other types of motor vehicle accidents. We know that the legal process can be hard and are here to fight for you. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today.