Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Road rage: Matty Maroun's new Ambassador Bridge ramp to nowhere

By now you've heard news reports of the squabbling that's gone on regarding the building of a second bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor.

And you may have heard how a Detroit International Bridge Company executive was jailed for a short time yesterday because the company he represents (which owns the Ambassador Bridge) has refused to follow a judge's order to "stick to the plan."

But have you driven through southwest Detroit to see the half-road that's at the core of this whole mess?

While the state completed the highway rebuilding portion of its Gateway Project last year, the DIBC and owner Matty Maroun - who reportedly was supposed to make ramps that took traffic directly from the bridge to the freeways - instead built this: a ramp to what they hoped was their own second span to Canada. For now, it's a ramp to nowhere, and while the courts are demanding they dismantle it (along with a nearby fuel station and other amenities the DIBC went ahead and built because it felt like it) for now it stands as an odd-looking daredevil contraption for anybody willing to try and get to Windsor 'Dukes of Hazard' style.

That's Fort Street you see in front of the ramp, and the Ambassador Bridge next to it. If the courts ever get their way and force Maroun to bring in the wrecking ball, he ought to first consider loaning it to some Hollywood types to shoot a cool scene for a new action flick.