WJBK – FOX 2
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(DETROIT) – Del Ray is a neighborhood in far Southwestern Detroit. Once a village itself, it was named for the village in Mexico linked to a battle in the Mexican War.
It has declined in recent decades, and its future seemed tied to becoming the home of a new international bridge crossing to Canada.
The completion of that bridge would transform the now-blighted neighborhood, but those plans are stalled in Lansing for now.
Four generations of the Morgan family live in several homes on Schroeder. The new bridge would be footed here and the homeowners would be offered prices for their properties – prices worth much more than the current market values.
Fox 2’s Bill Gallagher asked one Del Ray resident if people would be willing to leave.
“If they were treated fairly, where they can go and buy a home, sure they would,” the man said.
John Smith enjoys working in his large garden. He’s lived in Del Ray for more than 40 years, and has no intention of leaving.
“I love it. I’d like to stay right here,” Smith said. “Money ain’t everything.”
The owner of the Ambassador Bridge opposes a new public span a couple miles downriver, and argues it would unfairly displace people from Del Ray.
But much of the neighborhood is already abandoned. Supporters of the new bridge say the Del Ray location is ideal for truck traffic and the new bridge would connect I-75 and Canada’s Highway 401, the major route for auto parts and products.
The people in Del Ray, on both sides of the bridge debate, want Michigan politicians to do what they’re being paid for – making decisions.