Council Vote Paves Way For Ambassador Bridge Upgrades
- “City council approved recommendations Tuesday to spur over $2 billion worth of improvements to the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project and the DRIC road to the Bridge..
The project would employ 15,000 workers.
The work was supposed to begin a long time ago, but was put on hold amid months of stalling by the Mayor and his taxpayer paid lawyers and consultants.”
The Truck Ferry story is fascinating for number reasons not even including the inability of the Government people involved to do a deal in a timely fashion.
It is of course an anti-competitive action by the Governments with respect to the Bridge Company. Here you have all three levels of Government assisting a private enterprise company compete against the Bridge Company. It is very similar to the monies that they have also offered the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel for their plaza improvements to help the Tunnel compete as well.
The Governments can pay money to build an access road and make terminal and dock improvements for the Ferry or for Tunnel plaza improvments but not for the Bridge Company. Seems strange to me that one private enterprise operator should be favoured over another, especially when the other is prepared to spend its own money.
Adding insult to injury, I think the money being used to finance the work is BIF money as part of the Let's Hope We Can Get Windsor-Essex Moving One Day Soon strategy. Yet not one penny has been used to build the road to the Bridge, an existing crossing, as the BIF program was supposed to do.
More interestingly, I don’t understand why all of this money is being wasted since the new DRIC bridge will be able to handle hazardous loads thereby putting the Truck Ferry completely out of business. Why make millions of dollars worth of changes when the future of the business is limited to a few more years. Are the Governments going to pay Mr. Ward when he is forced to close down because of their actions? I wonder how much money they will offer him.
I suspect that the land deal is not yet completed. I would also think that the amount of money required to buy that small piece of land, 30-metre stretch of Maplewood Drive, will be substantially higher than most people would think.
If I was the owner, I would want a separate fee for the thousands of trucks that improperly used the property over a good number of years. Aren't they trespassing? At say, $20 per vehicle, that would be a nice sum of money for starters. After all he ought to be able to charge the equivalent of a “toll” for the use of his roadway. In my opinion, that amount ought not to be paid by the Governments since that was an error made by the owner of the Ferry. Why should taxpayers have to bail him out for that?
In addition, I might think twice if I was the owner about selling the property at all. I might just want to sell the right to use that property for truck access for a period of time at $X per truck. Alternatively, I might calculate how many trucks might use that property for the next 50 or so years, the amount of time that the Governments will be in litigation with the Bridge Company over the border crossing, and say that this is the purchase price for my road.
Of course, it might be possible for the Governments to expropriate the land although I think they might have some legal trouble justifying doing so. But that won’t be so bad except for taxpayers. They will wind up paying him even more money once his lawyers get through with them!
He does have some clout after all. If he closes the road down, then all of the hazardous materials trucks and the oversized trucks will have to use the Blue Water Bridge. The fuss that they would raise over the delays in going over the border and the extra distance travelled would force the Governments back to the negotiating table immediately.
It should be fun watching this one being played out.