Jan 10, 2010
Ambassador Bridge owner hedges his bets with land purchase
There’s not much Republican billionaire benefactor and Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun will not do to keep his monopoly, but he has found a way to either keep his monopoly or cash in even if he loses the monopoly.
Moroun has been trying to build a second span right next to the current Ambassador Bridge he owns - only one of two international border crossings in the country in private hands - but the Canadian and U.S. government want to a new public-private bridge at a site located downriver from the current Ambassador Bridge. In fact, Moroun has already begun to build the bridge despite not having a single permit.
To get his way, Moroun has recruited politicians to do his bidding, and he has tried to intimidate those he can’t control. To lock up monody, he has bought property where a porition of the approach for the new government built bridge will go.
Moroun has multiple companies, and one of his companies called Central Transport has purchased 42 acres at the site of Yellow Freight truck terminal at 7701 W. Jefferson, according to the Detroit Free Press. Moroun bought the land for an undisclosed price.
The area where the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) Study, a joint project by the governments of Michigan, Ontario, the U.S. and Canada to build a bridge from Detroit's Delray area to Windsor, has chosen will now run through a portion of the property Moroun now owns.
Moroun can refuse to sell the property to stop the DRIC bridge. However, the government has the power to condemn the property under eminent domain, but he can hold the taxpayer’s hostage to jack up the price. Either way, he makes out.