Residents pull down road closure in Detroit bridge battle

- The Detroit International bridge company has faced lots of opposition in its quest to build a second span. People in the neighborhood say the construction project has illegally shut down a street.

"We need the mayor, we need the city council to protect the people that put them in office," said Deb Sumner. "Because the people need protection."

People in the Hubbard Richard neighborhood in southwest Detroit are pleading with the city leaders to reject a plan by the Ambassador Bridge to close off St. Anne Street from Fort to Lafayette. They are concerned about response time.

"If this were to go through and if we were to have a fire, God help us all," said Susana Garza. "We've got wooden houses here and the fire department or the police department could not get to this area, they would have to go around it and that takes time."

Neighbors say there were small fires at a few houses last year when this same street was blocked off.

"Three houses already," said Isabelle Romero. "It wasn't major but it took a while for the fire department to come through because they were doing roadwork like this."

The Detroit International Bridge Company which owns the Ambassador Bridge wants to make this stretch of St. Anne and the alley between Howard and Lafayette, easements to connect its bridge plaza to nearby property.

City council members on the health and safety committee decided to put their plan on hold during a committee meeting Monday, but residents say bridge contractors still tried to block the street.

"I came by here one o'clock in the morning Thursday and I came down Fort street on purpose just to see if the barrier was still up and the barrier was still up," Garza said.

"The neighbors you know pushed it down today on the ground," Sumner said.

The bridge company's plan got the thumbs up from city departments before council members reviewed it. Some departments shot down that same plan two years ago, council members want to know what changed since then.

That council committee is supposed to get answers in a couple of weeks --that will likely determine how they will vote on this issue before it goes to the full council.
 

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