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Billionaire Matty Moroun Largely Loses In International Bridge Dispute With State

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun has hit another wall in his efforts to stop a competing $2.1 billion span from going up over the Detroit River between Michigan and Canada.

A federal judge in Washington has filed an opinion Wednesday that among other things shoots down Moroun's argument that his Detroit International Bridge Co. has exclusive rights to a span connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario.

"This is a major decision and it is a major legal setback for the Moroun family, which told a federal court, basically, that they had the exclusive rights to bridges between Detroit and Canada," explained WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. "The court said, in a 57-page decision, no you do not."

It's a green light for the Snyder administration, Skubick said, to continue its work on The Gordie Howe International Bridge, scheduled to open in 2020. It will compete with the 85-year-old Ambassador Bridge.

There is one legal issue remaining before the court, focused on the legality of the agreement between Canadian officials and the state.

Canada is paying most of the project's cost. It plans to recoup it with tolls traveling in both directions. Both governments say the new bridge will create thousands of jobs.

The Associated Press left a message Wednesday seeking comment from the Detroit International Bridge Co.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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