MDOT Won’t Lift Hazardous Materials Ban On Ambassador Bridge

DETROIT (WWJ) – The Michigan Department of Transportation has decided against allowing hazardous materials to cross the Ambassador Bridge, despite a request by bridge owner Matty Moroun.

According to MDOT Region Engineer Tony Kratofil, it’s a public safety issue.

“It could be anything from explosives to gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, reactive solids. oxidizers, organic types of materials , poisonous or toxic materials or infectious substances. radioactive materials, corrosive materials,”  Kratofil said.

By law, such material must ferried across the Detroit River.

Kratofil said they talked with law enforcement, first responders and held a public hearing before making a decision.

“When the analysis was done, it it takes into consideration safety of the infrastructure and vulnerability of the infrastructure as well as the safety of the surrounding area and, and the public at large,” he said.

It’s up to  state police and local police, he said, to enforce the laws.

“We heard a number of comments in the public comment period, concerns raised that things were illegally being crossed already,” Kratofil said. “Although state police had informed us that, to their knowledge, that is not happening or hasn’t (recently).”

The Ambassador Bridge Company issued a statement saying that Gov. Rick Snyder is punishing the Ambassador Bridge for opposing his New International Trade Crossing, and that this decision has nothing to do with “made-up” concerns for the local neighborhoods.

“Snyder is well aware that all of the roads connecting to the Ambassador Bridge already allow for the carriage of these types of freight and more. But those are only the facts and not the politics,” the statement reads. “Unfortunately, Snyder has placed our state in a bad legal position and we will be forced to seek judicial review.”

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