Letters: Let benefits to public decide on new Detroit River bridge

Detroit Free Press
Letters to the Editor

For months, the debate over the New International Trade Crossing has largely ignored how it will impact those of us in Delray, where the bridge will be located. We’re already home to many heavy industries that serve our state but negatively impact our community.

A new bridge will bring more pollution, force businesses and churches to relocate, and drive down our quality of life. A community-benefits agreement will ensure the bridge leaves a lasting positive impact on Delray, not the blight and health problems previous developments have left behind.

Lawmakers should support the new bridge only if our community is protected with a community benefits agreement.

Scott Brines, Detroit

Smart support

State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, has spoken out in support of the NITC bridge and better control of the truck traffic in the area. I support Tlaib and her efforts to encourage state legislators to vote for a new bridge and provide better control of the traffic, which will improve air quality in southwest Detroit.

Deacon Norbert Motowski, All Saints Catholic Church, Detroit

Benefactors with a motive

With all due respect to Nora Moroun and her decision to be a benefactor, it is more than coincidental that she apparently did so recently (“Moroun family steps up its donations amid controversy,” June 27). It is another effort by that family to buy their way into getting a private bridge instead of a publicly owned one.

The Morouns own a lot of property, most of which, if not all, is rundown and deteriorating. Some of it is even where the proposed public bridge is to be built.

The big negative factor in all this is Canada, which does not want the bridge where the Morouns want it. Whom are they going to buy there?

Robert J. Shoens, Northville

Detroit’s version of Scrooge

I think we all need to recognize that what we have with the Moroun family is actually our own Detroit version of Scrooge. I don’t ever remember in my lifetime (I’m 54) someone with so much — billions — who has offered so very little to others in his community. The offer is nonstop posturing and propaganda — all while collecting millions in a phantom gas tax on their monopoly bridge, thus depriving our state of some desperately needed tax revenues. Truly deplorable.

Now we learn that in a newly incorporated charity the Morouns are going to be just a little more public with their donations. Incredible.

I read all of the online comments on this article on freep.com and found that the Morouns didn’t have a single defender, paid or otherwise. It’s apparent that most of us already know what we have here: greed and self-promoting.

Mike Doyle, Grosse Pointe Farms

Think bigger, better

Please, let’s think beyond who owns and where we build a new ribbon of concrete connecting two highways. Let’s imagine the timely and exciting possibility to creatively connect two nations with a world recognized destination. Let’s imagine way outside of the box. Let’s think about:

  • An extra bridge lane for a high-speed train with terminals at Metro Airport, the Windsor airport and at each end of the bridge, with transfer services to people movers of all sorts to the downtown areas.
  • A magnificent gondola for people transportation between Canada and the U.S.
  • A crystal glass solar roof over the bridge to provide power and to avoid the need and cost to plow snow, and to demonstrate Michigan skills in manufacturing this product.
  • Turbine power-generating pods that suspend from the bridge into the river that are raised during the winter.
  • A major hotel anchoring each end of the bridge.
  • A new hockey arena cantilevering out over the river with a cocktail lounge and restaurant.
  • International shops with parks and fountains — and people.
  • Riverfront boating, shops and condos.

Let’s think not just of connecting highways. Let’s talk about connecting two nations, people, economies and industries.

Jack Caldwell, Grosse Pointe Farms

What will $2,000 buy?

State Sen. Mike Kowall is on the hot seat for Matty Moroun’s private bridge. Kowall has the power to kill the bill for a public bridge.

I just received the second or third flier in the mail from a group attacking the proposed new public bridge over the Detroit River. It is part of a massive campaign to kill the new bridge and protect Matty Moroun’s private Ambassador Bridge.

I’m sick of receiving such mail and being bombarded by the misleading TV ads opposing the new public bridge. As one of Sen. Kowall’s constituents in Northville, I’m asking him to “stand firm against the special interests’ and lobbyists’ pressure.” In this case, it’s Moroun’s private bridge special interest and lobbyists.

It’s common knowledge that Moroun’s people have flooded Lansing with political donations, and that he has the sharpest lobbyists in Lansing. Maybe Moroun thinks that Sen. Kowall is going to vote his way because of the $2,000 donation he made to Kowall, instead of voting for the best interests of his constituents and Michigan. We’ll see.

Bob Moreillon, Northville