DETROIT – A bridge battle is brewing in Detroit having to do with the Moroun family’s plan to build a new span across the Detroit River. To do that, they need a key piece of land that was promised to them years ago by the city.
In April 2015, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan surprised by announcing a negotiated deal with Matthew Moroun.
Moroun traded the riverfront land now under development by the city, $3 million in cash to fund knocking down an old newspaper building and allowed the city to completely rebuild Riverside Park in exchange for land right under the bridge.
Six years later and the deal is up for city council final approval and it’s getting pushback from Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López, who spoke in a city council committee virtual hearing Thursday.
“It’s the same concerns about truck traffic activity, air quality issues, sound pollution etc. The lack of engagement and the lack of being good corporate neighbors,” said Castañeda-López.
She does have some support as a long line of Detroiters joined her in speaking out against the deal.
“It’s frustrating and disheartening,” said Bradley Dick, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Group executive of services & infrastructure.
Dick is the guy spending the Moroun money. He’s looking forward to getting the last payment of $2 million the Morouns promised in the deal when they get the land.
“We need that $2 million exchange from the Bridge Corporation to finish the last section of this park,” he said.
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