Tailing Matty

The Build the DRIC Now! coalition, which wants a public-private partnership to construct a new bridge across the Detroit River, is keeping close tabs on Manuel "Matty" Moroun and his Detroit International Bridge Co., which is fighting fiercely to keep any competition from cutting into the profits reaped by its privately owned Ambassador Bridge.

As part of this ongoing bridge battle, the coalition earlier this year began issuing what it calls "fact checks" to counter statements being made by Matty or his company's officials. So far, 20 such responses have been issued. (You can find them all on the Web at buildthedricnow.com.)

No. 20 was issued on Monday, in response to a claim Matthew Moroun, Matty's son and vice chairman of the DIBC, made to the Wall Street Journal. Moroun the Younger told the paper that his dad's company is close to getting a permit from the Canadian government to build a second span across the river. Saying the company is "80 percent there," and that in a "worse case scenario" the permit would be issued next year if not sooner, Moroun gave the impression that approval is a sure thing.

Not so, says the coalition. Even if the bridge company were to do all the environmental work that must be completed before the Canucks can evaluate its proposal, there are still many hoops it must jump through if the project is to get official sanction.

Take note of the word if. Matty wants people to believe the new bridge he wants is a sure thing when it is anything but.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]

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