Wayne County Commissioners today unanimously approved a resolution calling on Michigan officials to block the latest effort by Ambassador Bridge operators to allow hazardous materials to be transported across the bridge, which connects the United States and Canada.
“This comes up every so many years and I wish they would stop,” said the resolution’s sponsor, Commissioner Ilona Varga (D-Lincoln Park) whose district includes the bridge. “We don’t want any more hazardous waste brought into Michigan.”
Bridge operators in May contacted the Michigan Department of Transportation seeking to allow trucks to carry flammable, chemical or corrosive materials across the four-lane bridge.
The resolution notes that thousands of residents on both sides of the border live close to the bridge and that many of the items sought for transport have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, respiratory ailments and immune system disorders.
It also notes that hazardous chemicals are currently transported across the Detroit River via the Windsor-Detroit truck ferry.
The Michigan Department of Transportation in 2014 ruled against transporting hazardous materials across the bridge after widespread community opposition.
The 91-year-old Ambassador Bridge is considered the busiest commercial crossing between the United States and Canada, representing roughly 25 percent of all commercial traffic between the two nations.
A hazardous waste accident and shut down on the bridge would severely impact the economies of both, commissioners said.
A copy of the resolution will be sent to the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, as well as representatives of the Detroit International Bridge Co.
It will also be sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Dugan and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.