YRC facility purchase could scuttle public trade bridge?

DETROIT — Michigan’s Central Transport purchased a terminal in southwest Detroit from Yellow Freight, which earned YRC Worldwide an undisclosed sum.

While a land transaction isn’t always the most exciting news fodder, the players in this sale usually are.

It’s no secret YRC has recently fallen on turbulent financial times, and their solvency is being closely watched by numerous other carriers eager to capitalize should the giant LTL carrier cease operating.

On the other side of the truck terminal deal is Central Transport’s Matty Moroun. That’s the same guy who also happens to own the Ambassador Bridge, and his new truck terminal just happens to overlap a bit of land the State would need to build approach ramps for the planned Detroit River International Crossing project.

The DRIC project has been in the works for years and the plan is to build a new publicly owned bridge from Detroit to Windsor, not far from the privately owned Ambassador Bridge.

While Moroun has been critical of the DRIC project in the past and at odds with Michigan’s government over his plans to expand the Amabassador Bridge, a spokesman for the bridge owner says this latest transaction has nothing to do with bridges.

"There is a tremendous business case for doing this," he told local media. "It wasn’t DRIC that drove us to do this. The facility was perfect for Central Transport’s business."

Michigan’s DOT doesn’t expect this terminal transaction to delay development plans for DRIC and spokesman Bill Shreck noted that governments have the right to seize property for public uses under eminent domain. It would just end up being a question of how much they’d have to pay for it.

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