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An interesting story with serious implications for the auto industry reaches between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario-- that of the Ambassador Bridge. The span is the most heavily trafficked border crossing in North America, and it's the main artery by which the two nations auto industries conduct business. DaimlerChrysler itself freights somewhere between 1,400-1,500 truckloads of its wares across the Ambassador daily, and other automakers including Toyota and Honda frequent it as well.

Problem is, the four-lane bridge is privately held (owner: Manuel "Matty" Moroun). Analyst Kim Hill of the Center for Automotive Research notes: "It's kind of shocking that a private investor can own a crossing between two countries... he can impact two very large state and provincial economies." More troubling still is that officials from both the U.S. and Canada have expressed security concern over the bridge's vulnerable status, given that it is effectively the sole area industrial conduit between the two countries.

A binational coalition is forecasting that the Ambassador Bridge will hit max capacity around 2010, and a new bridge is expected to take until 2013 to complete.

[Sources: Associated Press via Akron Beacon-Journal and www.EPA.gov]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thanks, Ian, a very good point.
      • 9 Years Ago
      NO border crossing or shipping port should be privatly owned or operated...
      • 9 Years Ago
      The tunnel sucks. It's very small and would not be able to handle large truck traffic like the bridge does.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Maroun ... that sounds vaguely Lebanese to me, and isn't Lebanon an Islamic country? And aren't people from Islamic countries the one who ...? Hmmm. Sounds like a case for Inspector Clouseau.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Isn't there a tunnel just a mile or so from the bridge that also connects Windsor and Detroit? Or is the point that heavy truck traffic cannot go through the tunnel?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mick, while Moroun may or may not be Lebanese, you should realize that the majority of Lebanese in the Windsor area at least are Christians.

      http://windsorcityon.blogspot.com/2006/01/stars-moroun-exclusive.html - some further commentary on the whole Moroun situation.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thanks, Ian. That's a very good point.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Morons. There are two train tunnels, so the Ambassodor bridge is hardly the only industrial trade conduit. I'd be VERY surprised if trucks carried more than trains (cars, SUVs) on a daily basis, though I suspect that trucks carry far more auto parts, especially considering manufactiring take place on both sides. I say increase train traffic.