Environmental permit for Ambassador Bridge’s twin span expires

August 23, 2012. 3:58 pm • Section: News  1 0

Dave Battagello

Posted on Aug 22, 2012
One of the required permits for a proposed twin span of the Ambassador
Bridge which was previously approved has expired and forced owner
Matty Moroun to go through the process again.

The bridge company had an approved permit in hand from the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality for a new six-lane Windsor-Detroit
crossing, but it was only good for five years.

“They have to go through the whole thing again,” said Andy Hartz,
district supervisor for the water resources division for the MDEQ.

A permit application from bridge president Dan Stamper to build a twin
span was received July 18 by the state’s environmental watchdog
agency. A 30-day community feedback period was launched on Aug 12.

Feedback should be focused, Hartz said.  “We are looking for comments
people may have on the project, but it needs to be specific on the
impacts to fisheries, water quality, contaminated sediment disruption,
that sort of thing,” he said.

“Trucks idling on the bridge, traffic impacts on the local communities
are not part of this review.”

Those interested in providing written comments can do so by sending
them online to the agency’s Jeremy Richardson at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He can be reached by phone for those who
have questions by calling 586-753-3860.

The comment period ends Sept. 10.

The twin span proposal is described in the documents as being a
1.17-mile long, cable-stayed bridge of which .48 miles will be over
the Detroit River. The bridge will be 162.5 feet in elevation at the
midpoint of the river.

The span would be just metres to the west of the existing bridge with
its support towers on the shore of each side – not in the water.

“The existing bridge will be taken out of service and evaluated for
possible future use,” the application said.

Among many outstanding permits or approvals the bridge company still
requires on both sides of the border before it can build a twin span
are those from the U.S. Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Canadian
Environmental Assessment Agency, Canada’s federal cabinet in Ottawa
and U.S. presidential permit in Washington.

The proposed Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) – a
$1-billion government-backed bridge that would be located downriver
linking the industrial communities of Brighton Beach and Delray is in
the midst of pursuing a presidential permit having already received
the other necessary approvals.

The public comment period for the DRIC bridge was recently extended by
the U.S. Dept. of State until Sept. 10 due to the large number of
responses. Those interested should send their comments to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The presidential permit application for the DRIC bridge can be viewed
online at www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/permit/