Bridge too far 

News Hits dropped in on a hearing at Detroit's 36th District Court last week to catch the latest action in a controversy involving the city's Riverside Park and the Ambassador Bridge Co., owned by reclusive mogul Manuel "Matty" Moroun.

As previously reported, the issue involves park land — a swath about 150 feet wide — blocked off by the bridge company to create a buffer zone supposedly intended to protect the span from terrorists. Thing is, the city's saying it never gave permission for the company to erect the fence. And it certainly never said OK to the company treating the property as its own, using it a storage space for construction material.

At last week's hearing before Judge Beverly J. Hayes-Sipes, Bridge Co. lawyer Jeffrey Stewart says the equipment was being removed. But Stewart also contended that a 2003 City Council resolution allowing the company to block off a few city streets in the area extended as well to the parkland.

City attorney John Nader contended the fence put up on parkland isn't supposed to be there, period.

The Bridge Co. wants the barrier to remain, saying the terrorist threat that prompted it hasn't abated at all. Nader said he checked with Homeland Security officials at every level and could find no one saying the government authorized the fence.

And so it went, back and forth, with much confusion about what the council actually authorized, and when. A television camera was there, and at one point Stewart said that if case went before a jury, some information would need to be kept secret because national security issues are involved.

There's reportedly been some talk of a land swap that would allow the company to keep control of the parkland, but such a deal would take time to work out.

The judge told everyone involved to keep talking, get things straight and come back in two months.

We'll keep you posted.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation