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Ambassador Bridge owner gets jail time

Published by Steve Coleman on January 12, 2012

The Ambassador Bridge's 84-year-old owner and his top lieutenant are behind bars after failing to meet court orders to complete a construction project linking the Windsor-Detroit bridge with neighbouring Michigan interstates.

On Monday, Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards sent Manuel (Matty) Moroun and Dan Stamper to jail until they follow a 2010 court order to get the project moving.

A request from lawyers to have the ruling suspended until an appeal could be launched was overturned.

Besides sending the pair to jail, the judge levied the minimum $7,500 (US) fine under Michigan law against the Detroit International Bridge Co. for contempt of court. That decision was rendered in November.

Michigan sued the company after it didn't meet a 2008 deadline to finish its part of a $230-million project to improve traffic flow at the bridge. The company claims the state's department of transportation repeatedly changed construction plans and became obstructive, allegations the state denies.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says it could take a year to complete the remaining work on the Detroit side of the border.

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