Government bridge backers slam Moroun, Proposal 6 wording

By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Business Writer

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and other backers of a new government bridge to Canada unleashed a salvo of pro-bridge facts and figures today in their effort to defeat Proposal 6, the anti-government bridge ballot question pushed by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun and his family.

At a news conference in Detroit today, Calley told reporters that voters should reject Proposal 6’s amendment to the state Constitution that would require a statewide and a local vote before the state could spend money on a new bridge or tunnel to Canada.

“Michigan cannot turn over control of its Constitution to a special interest, one guy who wants to maintain a stranglehold on this corridor’s commercial traffic,” Calley said of Moroun and the Ambassador Bridge. “It’s an economic risk, it’s a security risk, it’s a hazard to the state of Michigan.”

Maintaining the Morouns’ control over truck traffic between Detroit and Windsor “doesn’t belong in our transportation policy. It certainly does not belong in our Constitution,” Calley said.

Calley and his allies continued to hammer at the wording of Proposal 6, which defines “international” crossings as “any bridge or tunnel,” wording that might force a statewide vote on even local bridge and tunnel projects in the state.

Calley estimated that more than 100 local bridge projects around the state could be held up if Proposal 6 passes.

Another NITC backer, Larry Merrill, executive director of the Michigan Townships Associations, condemned the “incredibly sloppy wording of the ballot proposal” that might require a vote on any local bridge or tunnel project anywhere in the state.

“If we see Proposal 6 pass, it would be an incredibly self-inflicted wound,” Merrill said.