Ambassador owner loses bid for public tunnel: Windsor paper

DETROIT — Detroit billionaire Manuel Moroun’s controversial plan to takeover the Windsor-Detroit tunnel and nearby land has been rebuffed by the Mayor of Detroit, the Windsor Star is reporting.

Back in October, Mayor Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick agreed in principal to hand over control of the binational, public tunnel for $30-million US to Ambassador Bridge owner and powerbroker “Matty” Moroun.

The Ambassador Bridge seems to have lost the
tug-of-war over the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel

But after a backlash by tunnel officials on both sides of the border, Canadian politicians, and even some of his own councilors, Kilpatrick backtracked, saying he would temporarily shelve the plan. Now, according to the Star, Kilpatrick has taken the proposal off the table after meeting with Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis.

Moroun had reportedly offered the city $30 million through his bridge company to take over the lease of the U.S. side of the tunnel starting in 2020. He also wanted about 25 acres of land near the Ambassador Bridge to reportedly build a “superplaza” and dedicated road between his Ambassador bridge and the tunnel.

The DCTC had countered by saying it would renegotiate the remaining 15 years of its lease with the city of Detroit in a bid to thwart the takeover bid, the newspaper stated.

The tunnel is owned by the cities of Detroit and Windsor and operated by the Detroit & Canada Tunnel Corp., which is owned by Macquarie Bank in Australia.

— with files from the Windsor Star

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