Moroun’s can’t buy love from the courts

Bridge Co.’s effort to regain Gateway Project role rejected

By Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

The Michigan Court of Appeals has denied a request by the Detroit International Bridge Co. to regain control of its portion of the Gateway Project.

The court made its ruling on Thursday. Under the original terms of the $230 million Gateway Project, both the Michigan Department of Transportation and the DIBC were to construct portions of the project, but MDOT ended up suing the bridge company, accusing it of deviating from the contract.

After years of legal battles, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentis Edwards ceded complete control of the project to the state on March 8.

The DIBC appealed the decision and asked that it be reversed.

“We are pleased that the courts continue to support the state’s efforts to fulfill a promise to taxpayers who invested $230 million in the Gateway project to help the flow of goods and people between the U.S. and Canada, our most important trading partner,” said Jeff Cranson, director of communications for MDOT.

Bridge company attorney Geoffrey Dillard has argued Edwards’ ruling is “a takeover by the state of a private enterprise.”

Since Edwards’ ruling, MDOT has moved ahead with the project, completing construction of a ramp designed to carry truck traffic from Canada directly to Interstates 75 and 96.

On Monday, MDOT will begin construction on a two-lane truck access road, which will carry incoming commercial traffic to the recently completed ramp.

MDOT intends to have the ramp and access road open to truck traffic by May 20, which would remove up to 50 percent of the 10,000 trucks per day which currently use surface streets in southwest Detroit.