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Bridge work

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It seems that what Manuel Moroun wants, he gets.

Last week Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James J. Rashid ruled that the Detroit International Bridge Company, which Moroun owns, can expand the truck toll plaza as the local mogul had hoped.

Rashid ruled that, according to federal statute, the bridge company is not bound by local zoning laws. City attorney Eric Gaabo said the city may appeal.

The company plans to build seven new truck toll booths, 11 car toll booths and 11 diesel fuel pumps on the U.S. side of its Ambassador Bridge. Dan Stamper, DIBC president, says that the expansion is needed since trucks are backed up for two to three miles in Windsor and more toll booths in the United States will alleviate congestion. The company began construction last winter — without work permits or proper zoning — prompting the city to sue.

Stamper finally went before the zoning board last spring to get approval for the project. The board said no after a group of southwest Detroit residents and others complained that the plaza expansion would increase noise and pollution.

At the time, Stamper told News Hits that he was not discouraged, certain that the bridge company would eventually get what it wanted. And so it did.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

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