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Ambassador Bridge loses another appeal in bid to stop new bridge

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
A downstream view of the Ambassador Bridge and downtown Detroit from the proposed location of the new bridge crossing

Another legal obstacle to building a new international bridge in Detroit has been swept away. 

An appeals court panel on Friday struck down challenges made by the Ambassador Bridge's owner and some minority community groups. 

The groups said the Federal Highway Administration's decision to build a new public-private bridge in the downriver community of Delray was arbitrary – and officials deferred too much to Canada's wishes. 

But the appeals court pointed out the decision took years to accomplish and that many other factors besides Canada's wishes were considered.

The lawsuit also argued that it's not fair to put the bridge in Delray, one of the most economically distressed neighborhoods in Detroit.  

But the judges found that there were other distressed neighborhoods considered that would have been hurt even more – and Delray was the most practical choice.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.