DETROIT (WWJ) – The owner and president of the Ambassador Bridge will not be going back to jail, at least for now.
A judge has scheduled a March hearing to find out if a special committee appointed by Manuel “Matty” Moroun and Dan Stamper is complying with a court order, making progress on their way to completing the “Gateway Project.”
The project, in southwest Detroit near the bridge, is aimed at moving truck traffic directly onto interstates and off of neighborhood roads.
Stamper and Moroun took a pledge before the court promising to work with MDOT to appoint the three-person team.
Detroit International Bridge Company Attorney Godfrey Dillard said work has already begun, and the demolition of the controversial Pier 19 is underway.
Talking to reporters on Thursday, Dillard denied that it was the threat of more jail time that changed bridge executives’ minds.
“There has been a difference of opinion as to compliance,” said Dillard. “It’s about purging ourselves of contempt. If we comply with what the judge has ordered, particularly as it related to 19 … the truck route, then there’s no reason to put anybody in jail.”
Judge Edwards jailed Moroun and Stamper in January for civil contempt after more than a year had passed and the bridge company had not completed its portion of the project.
Dillard said the bridge company still plans to appeal Edwards’ decision.