Mich. governor, billionaire clash over new bridge

June 16, 2011 - 1:44 PM

DETROIT (AP) — A long-simmering divide over a new bridge is pitting Michigan's new governor against a billionaire businessman.

Gov. Rick Snyder is pushing for a new, publicly supported bridge between Detroit and the Canadian city of Windsor, the busiest commercial border crossing in North America. Trucking magnate Manuel "Matty" Moroun, who owns the existing Ambassador Bridge, says the government wants to destroy his company with a plan that will cost taxpayers millions.

The vast majority of international bridges are public infrastructure.

Pressure for a new bridge has mounted with the growth of international commerce and amid post-Sept. 11 security concerns.

Both national governments and many business heavyweights support the plan. Moroun has filed lawsuits, and his supporters distributed fake eviction notices in a Detroit neighborhood near where the new bridge would be.