Falling Debris Sparks Controversy Over Detroit's Ambassador Bridge

October 15, 2015

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Photo: Jim Park
Photo: Jim Park

In the latest example of the United States’ aging bridge and road infrastructure, debris falling from the 85-year-old Ambassador Bridge in Detroit has sparked a debate over who should be held responsible.

The Ambassador Bridge spans the U.S.-Canadian border from Detroit into Windsor, Ontario. A recent inspection of the bridge revealed fallen debris, causing officials in Windsor to close a few streets in the vicinity, according to a report by The Detroit News.

Inspectors checked the bridge in June and made recommendations for repairs. The bridge’s owners have started repairs and work will continue through next spring.

The bridge is privately owned by the Detroit International Bridge Co. It claims that the City of Windsor is blocking its attempts to repair the bridge or build a replacement because of the Canadian government’s own plans to build a public-private bridge. Michigan and the Canadian government have proposed a $2 billion bridge paid for by both governments.

The Detroit International Bridge Co. wants to build its own private replacement adjacent to the Ambassador.

“It needs to be said that the City of Windsor has worked very hard to delay and object to a complete rebuild of this section of the bridge,” said the Detroit International Bridge Co. in a statement. “The work was to have been performed this past summer. If the city found a genuine issue in need of repair that our engineer has missed, we’ll take care of it. We are not aware of any incidents linked to the city’s concerns. The major rebuild should be allowed to proceed.”

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