An American billionaire is trying to stop a bridge that will connect Detroit and Windsor, Ontario in Canada and is funded by the Canadian government. For Manuel Moroun, blocking the bridge is a business decision.
Not all bridges are owned by the government and Moroun owns the Ambassador Bridge, reports CNBC. In fact, the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit to Windsor, Ontario in Canada, is the only border crossing that is in the hands of a private citizen.
The Ambassador Bridge is also one of the busiest bridges in America, acting as a commercial hub for trucks going to and from Canada. More than 71,000 trucks cross the bridge each day and the Ambassador Bridge collects $60 million in tolls annually, according to CNBC.
As such, Moroun and his business, Detroit International Bridge Co., have spent $30 million to oppose the building of the New International Trade Crossing and get Proposition 6 passed in Michigan. The new bridge will be built two miles away from The Ambassador Bridge. According to the Detroit Free Press, the $30 million invested by Moroun was more than the both candidates spent in the 2010 Michigan Governor's race.
The NITC bridge has the support of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder along with other business leaders, notes the Detroit Free Press, and will provide an additional trade route between the cities. The NITC bridge will be funded by the Canadian government who will pay for the bridge by collecting the tolls, according to CNBC.
Moroun's claim is that the NITC bridge is foolish and not worth the taxpayer's money. The president of the Detriot International Bridge Co., Dan Stamper, said “The problem is the project, not Manny’s money. It’s been a fatally flawed project from the beginning,” reports CNBC. Stamper makes the claim despite reports that the Canadian government will be funding the project.
The vote on Proposition 6 will be held on Nov. 6 and it looks like Moroun's $30 million effort to block the NITC bridge will be in vain. According to a recent poll conducted by the Detroit Free Press, 47 percent of 600 likely voters were going to vote “no” on Prop 6, which is a constitutional amendment that would require a statewide vote on international bridges or tunnels.