Bridge Co. Kicked Off Gateway Project, Must Pay Millions

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A judge has ordered the company that controls the Ambassador Bridge to surrender control of its project on the U.S. side to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards ordered Thursday that an account be set up to fund the work.

WWJ’s Ron Dewey reported Manuel “Matty” Moroun, his son Matthew Moroun, and his top executive, Dan Stamper will appear at a court hearing on  March 22 during which they’re expected to give complete control of the Gateway Project and $16 million to the MDOT to finish the work.

The Detroit International Bridge Co. has said it’s making progress on its share of the $230 million project and pledged to complete the work.  The project, in southwest Detroit near the bridge, is aimed at moving truck traffic directly onto interstates and off of neighborhood roads.

Bridge Co. Attorney Godfrey Dillard said they’d been working hard to comply with the judge’s order – removing toll booths and gas pumps as quickly as they could.

“But we cannot begin construction without having plans that are approved by MDOT. Otherwise, we’re just building stuff on the fly, which M-DOT can come back and say, ‘Well, it’s wrong,” Dillard said Thursday. “Well, we want to have agreements before we start doing these things.”

In January, Judge Edwards put the 84-year-old billionaire Moroun, along with Stamper, in jail for contempt of court for failing to follow orders on the project.

They were released by the Michigan Appeals Court.

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