Protesters block traffic in both directions on Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit to Windsor
Demonstration continued into Monday night after hours of traffic delays
Traffic entering and leaving Canada along the Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor, Ont., to Detroit was being blocked by protesters Monday night, with the demonstration showing no signs of ending.
Demonstrators waving Canadian flags and bearing slogans on their vehicles demanding an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates arrived at the bridge on Monday afternoon. They told CBC News that they had no plans to leave the bridge Monday night.
Similar protests played out across Canada over the weekend as convoys of vehicles blocked city streets and highways
Ontario Provincial Police in Essex County issued a release Monday evening saying that as of 8 p.m., the bridge was "not accessible" in either direction. The release cautioned drivers to avoid the area if possible and advised those needing to cross into the U.S. to use the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, about 155 kilometres northeast of Windsor.
The Ambassador Bridge is one of the busiest international land border crossings in Canada and a major route for transport trucks.
Traffic Advisory: Motorists heading to the Ambassador Bridge border point on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hwy401?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Hwy401</a> westbound are advised to plan an alternate route to the border via <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HWY402?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HWY402</a> due to ongoing demonstration activity in the Windsor area. Monitor <a href="https://twitter.com/511Ontario?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@511Ontario</a> and local media for traffic updates. ^dr <a href="https://t.co/gZEAEudaCn">pic.twitter.com/gZEAEudaCn</a>—@OPP_WR
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) told motorists Monday afternoon to cross into Detroit from Windsor using the tunnel, which is located about three kilometres east of the bridge along the Detroit River.
The CBSA also recommended that commercial trucks reroute to Blue Water Bridge.
The agency said those recommendations would be in place "until further notice."
"The CBSA recognizes border disruptions affect both travellers and industry and we are working to restore normal border operations at this port of entry as quickly as possible," the agency said in a statement.
On the Ambassador Bridge, protesters told CBC News one lane of traffic has been left open for motorists to use to cross into Canada. Still, traffic moved at a crawl, and some trucks were stopped for hours on the bridge Monday.
Windsor police confirmed the exit from the bridge onto Huron Church Road, both northbound and southbound, was "temporarily interrupted."
Some traffic is moving slowly into canada. I’m told they are letting some traffic through - one lane on the right. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCWindsor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cbcwindsor</a> <a href="https://t.co/0Ce6iwgEu9">pic.twitter.com/0Ce6iwgEu9</a>—@JacobBarkerCBC
Police advised people to avoid the area if possible, and said officers were working to "restore the orderly flow of traffic in the safest manner possible."
A spokesperson for Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said the mayor's office would not be issuing a comment on the matter on Monday, as it's an active situation involving an international border crossing.