WINDSOR, Ont. — Ambassador Bridge owner and billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun has been jailed for contempt of court.
The 84-year-old executive was put in jail Thursday for failing to complete court-ordered roadwork on the US side of the bridge – which connects Detroit and Windsor – to the court’s satisfaction, according to a report from The Journal of Commerce. Detroit International Bridge president Dan Stamper was also put behind bars, having been jailed a year ago in the same case.
Last February, Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards ruled the bridge company had not carried out its end of a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to complete the $230 million Ambassador Gateway Project. The bridge company was to build a ramp over city streets that provided direct access to the bridge from I-75 and I-96 on the southwest side of Detroit, according to the JOC report.
MDOT sued, arguing that DIBC’s ramp was intended to be the approach for a second Detroit River bridge adjacent to the Ambassador: the $5.3 billion New International Trade Crossing.
Over the past two years, Moroun and his family have fought to block construction of the second bridge, having proposed a privately-owned twin span instead.
Moroun argued last week that he should be excused from yesterday’s court appearance, stating the bridge was owned by a holding company composed of family members. He is likely to stay behind bars for a few days until an appeal can be made, according to the report.
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