The proposed Detroit-Windsor Bridge would span the Detroit River connecting Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario with a second toll bridge containing six lanes. The only current international bridge crossing between Michigan and Canada is the 82-year old Ambassador Bridge which contains four lanes and is considered the busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada.
While there is opposition to the bridge project, the question of whether the use of eminent domain to acquire the necessary private property to construct the bridge is a genuine public purpose is not the basis for this opposition. If the Michigan legislature passes the proper legislation to enable the State to acquire property for the project, then the question of public purpose will become moot. However, any condemning authority granted eminent domain powers will still need to follow the proper procedures and laws to acquire private property. Further as Mr. Dynkoswki explains in the interview, the condemning authority will need to pay property owners "just compensation" for the acquisition of homes and businesses in the project area near I-75 and Dragoon. For a business owner just compensation can include the costs associated with relocation of the business (including trade fixtures and equipment) as well as compensable losses resulting from the taking of the business property.
Form more details about the Detroit-Windsor Bridge Project see also:
- "Darius Dynkowski interviewed Re: Detroit-Windsor bridge," Federal Eminent Domain Blog, 6/5/11
- "Michigan Governor Pushes New Detroit-Windsor Bridge," John, D. Boyd, 6/2/11
- "It's time to build the bridge," Michigan government press release, 6/1/11
- "Former Michigan governors support new Detroit-Windsor bridge," Zoe Clark, 1/28/11
*Disclosure: Darius Dynkowski, a partner with Ackerman, Ackerman & Dynkowski in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the Michigan member of the Owners' Counsel of America. Mr. Dynkowski and the firm focus upon defending private property owners threatened by eminent domain throughout Michigan.