Done deal: New bridge to Windsor coming soon, neighbors unhappy

 

Governor Rick Snyder is getting his new bridge to Windsor and Canada is fronting the tab, at first. But there's still plenty of controversy over the border crossing as homeowners who live near the new site aren't pleased.

The bridge and plaza will relocate several people who live in Delray, in southwest Detroit. Once the bridge and plaza are built, the homes will be long gone. Steve Toth lives in Delray and has some problems with the changes.

"My concern is are we going to receive adequate compensation?" he said. 

The funding is in place and both countries have signed off. But first, people like Toth have to give up their homes, but will it be fair? FOX 2's Charlie Langton asked Senator Gary Peters.

"Land is being acquired, folks will be paid fair market value for their homes," Peters said.

What is fair market value? Toth says his home has an insurance replacement value of more than $200,000. He later said the taxable value is $5,800, which is what he'll probably be offered.

"My concern is, are going they going to honor the commitments? Are they going to pay for relocation, Pay the difference between what a reasonable house will cost and what you're going to get it for?" 

Peters said the state and government will do what it can to be fair.

"We have to be concerned about the people in that area and certainly that's my focus to make sure that if there are other things we can do to help people with the transition. We'll do what we can," Peters said.

There is a legal process to challenge the value that one can get for land that would be taken for a public purpose. It's called condemnation and it's unknown if that will happen for anyone in Delray,

So who is paying for the bridge and plaza? Canada. They'll also be paying for the people to move.

"Canada will be fronting the money for the authority," Peters said. "There's a public-private partnership building the bridge and the money that's being fronted will be paid back over time through tolls."

No timetable has been set on the completion but reports indicate the bridge and plaza should be ready to open in 2020. When that happens, Toth won't be here any longer.

"We're going to leave this state," Toth said. "I'm going to Ohio."

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