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Tue June 15, 2010
Bridge company president warns against quick decisions
By Rick Pluta & Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – The president of the Ambassador Bridge says the state should move very slowly on any plan to build a new border crossing connecting Detroit and Canada.
Canada has offered to lend up to $550 million to Michigan. That would cover the state's share of the project's construction costs.
Ambassador Bridge Company President Dan Stamper says there are many questions on whether Michigan can legally make its own deal with Canada on a new bridge north of the Ambassador. Stamper says Canada has been trying to assert its control over the Detroit border crossing since the 1970's.
"This is an important crossing," Stamper asserted. "They want control over it. They tried to condemn it, ex-appropriate it, couldn't get it, they've tried to negotiate to buy it, we're not interested in selling it. They now want to move a mile west and marry MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation), and just relocate the business. I mean this isn't as complicated as everybody's making it, it's just ugly."
The Ambassador Bridge Company is trying to stop a competing bridge from being built. Instead, the bridge company wants to build a second span alongside the Ambassador.