Thursday, January 21, 2010

The cost of doing business with Matty

It’s hard to believe that one individual can wield so much power over the busiest border bridge in North America, but that’s the way it is with Matty Moroun and the Ambassador Bridge.

Matty owns the bridge and sets the toll rates, and anyone caught suggesting an alternative crossing or threatening his empire feels his wrath. It’s been that way for years.

Alternative proposals may come and go, but there’s Matty … intimidating the competition and standing as tall as the 400-foot towers that suspend his beloved Ambassador.

But are we starting to see a softer side to the bridge magnate and trucking-company mogul? The Detroit Free Press reported this week that Matty was prepared to make a generous offer to help the cash-strapped state of Michigan.

To nobody’s surprise given the economy, Michigan is falling well short of being able to qualify for certain transportation matching funds from the federal government.

In what seems like a generous offer, Mr. Moroun says he would ante up “toll credits” plus the value of $400 million in private bridge construction projects to help boost the pool Michigan draws from in the state’s quest for a federal match. It would seem like a welcome and legal shot in the arm if it were to pan out.

But before we get ahead of ourselves in thanking Matty for his generosity, it must be noted that he has placed some very specific terms and conditions on his offer.

You see, Matty is in it for Matty; he always has been and always will be.

The catch, he says, is that the state of Michigan must promise not to use any of the matching funds to pursue an alternative bridge downstream from the Ambassador.

Moroun wants to keep and increase traffic on his own bridge by building his own twin span. Any downstream alternative threatens to take business away.

“It’s just business,” he seems to say to detractors.

If anything is certain in this, it’s that truckers are the ones giving Matty Moroun plenty of business. Conservatively, he’s got to take in at least $150,000 each day from trucks.

The approximately 10,000 commercial trucks that cross the aging four-lane span each day pay between $3.25 and $4.50 per axle depending on weight, and that doesn’t include an extra 50 cents per axle for oversized loads.

Simply put, this is the cost of doing business with Matty Moroun.

9 comments:

  1. And are you suggesting he should fund his opposition?

    He may be "generous" but not dumb!

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  2. Wow! Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth!! You speak of the "cash strapped state of Michigan" and then in the same article talk about how Matty shouldn't be against the state building the DRIC project...
    Any idea how much that project would cost the "cash strapped state of Michigan"?? Furthermore, there happens to be a tunnel to Canada as well! Anyone wishing to cross either to Canada or the US is more than welcome to use it...

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  3. As you know Matty also owns CentralTransport. When I was a contractor for him we went under CC Southern, He was trying to break the Union and at that time has approx 33 small non-union companys. He eventually broke the Union and disbanded the small companys. I saw him opeate and indeed he is ruthless and all for Matty. Herb C. Hampton, #3367

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  4. "Matty owns the bridge and sets the toll rates, and anyone caught suggesting an alternative crossing or threatening his empire feels his wrath. It’s been that way for years."
    Um...WHAT ABOUT THE TUNNEL??? Anyone is free to take that as well??
    You can't speak about how the "cash strapped state of Michigan" can't afford anything and say that Matty shouldn't build the 2nd crossing in the same article!! We should be greatful that someone is able and willing to privately fund such a project...
    Rather than trying to drive business out of Michigan in these tough economic times, why don't we try to support people who choose to keep their companies headquartered here, in Michigan. Wake up everyone!!!

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  5. Matty has friends in high (or used to be) places.He had tight connections to disgraced Kwame Kilpatrick and his mommy Caroline Cheeks-Kilpatrick. He bought up much of the riverfront to keep officialdom from building an alternate bridge and has even fenced off public property around the bridge -including what is supposed to be a park, posted Homeland Security warning signs and his own armed goons to keep people away.To get real dirt on Matty, you have to go to the Windsor Star; the Detroit newspapers wont do him justice. Canada thoroughly hates him - they still claim his ownership of the bridge circumvented the international agreement by stealth and violates the treaty. Just making him tear down the trashed and burned-out buildings he owns would do wonders for Detroit! He's actually the biggest land-owner in Michigan and does NOTHING for Detroit or the state.He's a one-man mafia!

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  6. You should see the Immigration and Customs bosses JUMP when they get a call from the Bridge company complaining about how traffic is/was backing up, something that interfered with revenue stream.

    Maroun is known and feared in Ottawa, Lansing, and Washington DC

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  7. Your blog is awe-inspiring. I have found many new things. Your way of staging is also fascinating. You have elected very incredible topic. I appreciated it.

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  8. Well said Herb.
    I was one of the union owner operators that got displaced by people willing to work for the bogus companies such as cc southern. It was a good job with good benefits for an owner operator. Nothing last forever.

    Dan

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  9. That's inspirational. I like this post. I m really impressed with Matty.

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