DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Records show the family of the Ambassador Bridge’s owner has spent more than $1 million since 2009 in a legislative fight against a new government-backed bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

The Detroit News reported Tuesday that donations by the family of Manuel “Matty” Moroun appear to have met legal requirements.

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Last week, the GOP-led state Senate approved a ban against state purchases of land for the New International Trade Crossing. The newspaper says the family made donations totaling more than $105,000 in the last five years to 18 of 26 GOP senators backing the ban.

The newspaper used figures from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network watchdog organization.

Moroun wants to build his own twin span adjacent to the Ambassador Bridge.

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The New International Trade Crossing is expected to provide an alternative route for trucks at one of the busiest commercial border crossings in the U.S., where an estimated 2.7 million trucks pass through carrying $120-billion worth of goods annually.

The new crossing is planned to cross the Detroit River about two miles south of the Ambassador Bridge, from the Brighton Beach neighborhood in Windsor to the Delray neighborhood in Detroit.

Reports estimate the entire project could cost upwards of $4 billion and take up to five years to build — and there’s been a lot of discussion about who will pay for it.  Gov. Rick Snyder has said that Canada is putting up the money — not Michigan taxpayers.

The U.S. State Department approved the project just over a year ago, but construction hasn’t started yet.

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