Detroit Free Press
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) begins studying how to connect the Ambassador Bridge directly to I-75 and I-96 through a series of new ramps to get trucks off local streets near the bridge.
After years of hearings and design work, construction begins. MDOT and the Detroit International Bridge Co., the private owner of the Ambassador Bridge, are each responsible for part of the construction.
After the bridge company builds its portion of the Gateway Project in a way that creates a duty-free facility and keeps trucks on local streets, MDOT sues to force the company to rebuild according to the agreed-upon design.
After lengthy litigation, Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards rules in MDOT’s favor and orders the bridge company to rebuild its part as MDOT demands, even if it means ripping out the duty-free facility that stands partly in the way.
February 2010- January 2011
The bridge company loses a series of appeals in state and federal courts trying to overturn Edwards’ order.
Edwards briefly jails bridge company President Dan Stamper because of noncompliance with his order to rebuild.
A court-appointed monitor meets regularly with both sides but reports that the bridge company still is not complying.
MDOT asks Edwards to impose $100,000-a-day penalities on the bridge company until it complies. Edwards does not rule immediately but orders Stamper to appear before him July 7 to face a contempt-of-court hearing.
At a news conference, the bridge company announces it will rebuild its portion of the Gateway as MDOT and Edwards demand.