DETROIT (AP/WWJ) – A proposal has been delayed to transfer 301 Detroit-owned properties to the Michigan Land Bank in exchange for $1.4 million from the Canadian government as part of plans for a $2 billion international commuter bridge.
A special Detroit City Council session has been scheduled Monday morning. The Detroit Free Press reports, however, that Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s office has agreed to delay consideration of such an agreement until September.
Gov. Rick Snyder and Canada have agreed to build the New International Trade Crossing over the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. Canada is paying most of the $2 billion project’s cost on both sides of the border and plans to recoup the money through tolls.
The U.S. State Department approved the project just over a year ago, but construction hasn’t started yet.
The project is opposed by the owner of the existing Ambassador Bridge, Manuel “Matty” Moroun, whose family wants to build its own second span. Records show the Moroun family has spent over $1 million since 2009 in their fight to stop a new government-owned span.
Officials say they hope to open the bridge in 2020. The bridge’s Detroit footprint would be on the city’s southwest side.
An estimated 2.7 million trucks pass through the Detroit-Windsor crossing, carrying $120-billion worth of goods annually.
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