Detroit businessman Manuel Maroun, who owns the only bridge spanning the busy trade route between Detroit and Canada, has bought a piece of land that could complicate a government plan to build a second bridge across the river.
Maroun purchased a piece of land in southwest Detroit that reportedly is necessary for the competing, publicly funded bridge. The second bridge, called the Detroit River International Crossing project, is a joint project by the governments of Michigan, Ontario, the U.S., and Canada. It’s estimated to cost nearly $2 billion.
Maroun is moving forward with his own plans to build a $1 billion, second span to replace the aging Ambassador Bridge. The two groups have been locked in litigation for years. Maroun’s purchase could force the government to use its eminent domain powers to seize the lands.
Meanwhile, Maroun and a Canadian-based chapter of the Sierra Club have filed requests in federal court to block any construction related to the government-run bridge project. The groups are challenging the environmental assessment process conducted by the Detroit River International Crossing team.