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Hurdle cleared in effort to build new US-Canada bridge

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The Michigan Department of Transportation has cleared a hurdle as it moves to acquire property for construction of a $2.1 billion bridge across the Detroit River between Canada and the U.S.

The Detroit Free Press reports Ambassador Bridge owner MattyMoroun's companies granted permission for MDOT to access property in Detroit so the agency can conduct a survey and perform other work.

MDOT had sought a court order for access.

Michael Samhat, president of Moroun's Crown Enterprises, says he granted permission the day after an MDOT attorney set a 24-hour deadline.

The Canadian-financed Gordie Howe International Bridge is scheduled to open in 2020.

Moroun wants to build a bridge across the Detroit River next to the Ambassador Bridge.

His lawyers have sought to stop construction of the competing span.