Truck Congestion Set to Ease Soon as Gateway Project Begins



DETROIT – There’s some noise coming from Detroit, and it’s not the racket of loud court battles between the Detroit International Bridge Co. and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

It’s the sound of construction – construction that could reduce truck congestion by half on streets near the Ambassador Bridge as soon as next month.

The Detroit News reported yesterday that construction crews have poured the remaining two sections of a gap in the ramp that will eventually connect a two-lane truck access road from the bridge to Interstae 75 and 96.

MDOT hopes to open the road by May 20, with the entire project projected to be completed by early October.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards gave MDOT complete control of the project last month, ordering the bridge company to cooperate with MDOT and to transfer $16 million in operating costs to the state for the remaining construction.

Lawyers on behalf of the bridge company filed an appeal, pointing to bridge owners MJ Moroun and Matthew Moroun stepping aside in favour of a committee to oversee the project.

The committee is comprised of former MDOT director Pat Nowak, along with former Michigan Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Wahby and bridge company president Dan Stamper.

In a press release, Nowak said that the company would like to have a chance to complete the Gateway project. The committee hired all new engineers, new contractors and almost all new lawyers to deal with the state.

“We provided a design to the state that its engineers liked, then, the judge made a shocking decision and gave MDOT the project which surprised everyone in the courtroom,” Nowak said.

As of today, no ruling has been made on the appeal.

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