Who will get their bridge built first, Matty Moroun or Rick Snyder?
Erecting a new Detroit River crossing was a key item on the governor’s first term agenda. And while construction is pegged to start next summer, any number of obstacles could delay it once again, meaning visible work on the Gordie Howe Bridge may not be underway by the time Snyder leaves office at the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, Moroun got approval last week from Canadian authorities to replace his nearly 90-year-old Ambassador Bridge with a new span. It will go up next to the existing bridge, which is supposed to be torn down after its replacement is finished, but who knows if that’ll ever happen.
As for the Gordie Howe Bridge, it cleared an important hurdle this summer in getting a $48 million community benefits agreement with the southwest Detroit neighborhood where it will begin.
The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, the Canadian outfit that is managing the project, is expected to choose the winning construction bidder in November. The authority is still busy putting together a team of architects and engineers.
Having won approval for his new bridge, Moroun is not resting in his opposition to the governor’s span.
Moroun has vowed to continue his legal challenges to the Gordie Howe crossing, and that could throw the construction schedule to the winds.
In five years, Detroit could have three bridges across the Detroit River or one, depending on how the legal maneuvering goes. And it’s anybody’s guess who will get over the river first.