By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Business Writer
Attorneys for Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun are trying to have Moroun excused from attending next week’s hearing at which a Wayne County judge will impose penalties on Moroun’s company stemming from a long-running dispute over bridge ramps.
Moroun’s lawyers have asked Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards to excuse Moroun from appearing before him as Edwards ordered for the Jan. 12 hearing.
Edwards ruled late last year that the Detroit International Bridge Company was in contempt of court for not completing the long-delayed Gateway project at the bridge as the Michigan Department of Transportation has demanded. The Gateway project was designed to connect the Ambassador Bridge directly to I-75 and I-96 through a series of new ramps.
But Edwards agreed last year with MDOT’s contention that Moroun’s bridge company built his portion of the project in a way that keeps thousands of trucks a day on local surface streets and going past a lucrative duty-free fuel facility operated by the company.
In his ruling, Edwards ordered both Moroun and a top aide, Dan Stamper, president of the DIBC, to appear in person before him on Jan. 12 to hear what penalties will be imposed.
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