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Ambassador Bridge owners vow to wrap up disputed Gateway Project

The owners of the Ambassador Bridge say a disputed construction project will get done by a court-imposed January 2012 deadline.

The Detroit International Bridge Company and the Michigan Department of Transportation have been in court for two years over the Gateway Project, a disputed construction project meant to better connect the bridge with surrounding highways

MDOT says the DIBC violated the design terms of their agreement. The Judge ruled in MDOT’s favor, and DIBC President Dan Stamper was jailed briefly for contempt of court.

Stamper says that won’t happen again, because the work is ongoing and will be done by the January deadline.

“We think the work that we’re doing, and making it public so everybody knows about it, is what the judge has ordered.”

Bridge Company attorney Reginald Turner says his clients will “move forward” with their obligation to demolish some structures, while “unresolved issues get worked out.”

“The number one priority for the Detroit International Bridge Company is to complete the Gateway Project consistent with the contract it has with the Michigan Department of Transportation, and consistent with the order of the court.”

But MDOT reacted skeptically, saying “nothing about this announcement changes the fact” that the DIBC hasn’t complied with court orders, and “only time will tell whether they do so in the future.”

If a Judge agrees, the DIBC could again find itself in contempt of court. A hearing is set for early next month.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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