Lansing — A Detroit mayoral candidate’s
lawsuit seeking to block Gov. Rick Snyder’s plans to build a
Detroit-to-Windsor bridge has been dismissed by an Ingham County judge.
Judge Joyce Draganchuk recently tossed out state Rep. Fred Durhal’s
lawsuit challenging the governor’s legal authority to enter into a June
2012 agreement with Canadian officials without the Legislature’s
Snyder bypassed lawmakers last
year after they refused to vote to approve Canada’s offer to cover
Michigan’s $550 million share of building the six-lane $2.1 billion
Detroit River crossing, known as the New International Trade Crossing.
the deal, Michigan’s share of the bridge costs will have to be repaid
by future toll revenue from motorists and commercial trucks crossing the
Durhal’s complaint contended
Snyder has violated a constitutional separation of powers and committed
the state to eventually paying for the bridge without approval of the
Legislature, which controls the purse strings of state government.
But in a ruling from the bench, Durhal said, the judge said Durhal didn’t have standing to bring the legal challenge.
acknowledging the new bridge will land in southwest Detroit outside of
his state House district, Durhal claimed his position on the House
Appropriations Committee gave him standing under the presumption
Michigan tax dollars may ultimately be spent on the bridge.
was a bit surprised by it,” Durhal said of the ruling. “If it had been
done in Wayne County, I probably would have been more successful with
Durhal, a Democrat, is running for
mayor of Detroit in the August primary, though he’s considered a long
shot for being among the two candidates who advance to the November
general election. Durhal said he’s still consulting with his attorney,
Godfrey Dillard, on whether to appeal the judge’s decision.
has previously worked for Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty”
Moroun, who has waged a multimillion dollar political campaign to stop
construction of a crossing that would compete for truck traffic with his
Durhal has denied he sued Snyder at the behest of the billionaire trucking mogul.
“This was not a frivolous lawsuit,” Durhal told The Detroit News.
April, the Obama administration granted Michigan a presidential permit,
clearing the way for bridge planning, engineering and buying land to
A Snyder spokesman Tuesday praised Draganchuk’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.
NITC is all about jobs for Michigan families, so the judge’s decision
is welcome news,” Snyder spokesman Ken Silfven said in an email.