Tunnel deal in limbo after Detroit mayor’s sentencing?

WINDSOR, Ont. — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s recent jailing will not crush ongoing negotiations on the Windsor-Detroit tunnel deal, says his Windsor counterpart.

According to the Windsor Star, Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis believes the proposal to hand over control of the tunnel to Windsor is not derailed, despite political turmoil across the border in Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick resigned as mayor after pleading guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice. The Democrat, who championed the deal with Windsor, will serve four months in jail.

But Francis tells The Star that he’s confident the man who’s taking Kilpatrick’s place — council president Ken Cockrel Jr. — will be able to close the deal himself.

"I have a good working relationship with Ken Cockrel and other staff in Detroit. This deal did not hinge on (Kilpatrick), it was with Detroit," Francis is quoted as saying.

Under latest terms of the tunnel proposal, Infrastructure Ontario would loan $75 million to the recently formed Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corporation. That money would be transferred to the Detroit Transportation Authority, which would in turn hand over control of its half of the bridge to Windsor as a public crossing.


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