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Michigan DOT Turns Back Ambassador Bridge Haz-Mat Request

February 03, 2014

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The Michigan Department of Transportation has determined that public safety would not be enhanced by allowing corrosive or flammable materials to cross the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.

The announcement follows eight months of reviewing public comments and after several meetings with law enforcement and emergency responders.

The owner of the span, The Detroit International Bridge Company, asked for modifications to current restrictions placed on what types of materials are allowed to cross over the Ambassador Bridge.

In making its ruling the state DOT said federal law states that changes in the routing of hazardous materials should be granted if the change enhances public safety. After getting feedback from law enforcement, first responders, federal agencies and Canadian officials, the department says it determined that "no net improvement to public safety would result from granting the modifications requested by the DIBC."

State law designates Michigan DOT as the agency responsible for making the determination as to where non-radioactive hazardous materials cannot be carried. It commissioned a technical study which culminated in a synopsis report that examined all four locations in Detroit.

DIBC issued a statement saying that Gov. Rick Snyder is punishing the Ambassador Bridge for opposing the New International Trade Crossing, which is a planned second span in the Detroit area connecting with Canada that will be publicly-owned.

“Snyder is well aware that all of the roads connecting to the Ambassador Bridge already allow for the carriage of these types of freight and more. But those are only the facts and not the politics,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, Snyder has placed our state in a bad legal position and we will be forced to seek judicial review.”

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