What could be 'leftover debris' from Detroit-Windsor Tunnel work falls onto car

Some ongoing construction work in the ceiling of the tunnel may have led to a small piece of concrete falling onto a passenger vehicle.

Have you had concrete fall from the tunnel onto your vehicle? Email us at

A small piece of concrete the size of a dime fell onto CBC News reporter Jonathan Pinto's car. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel may have reopened after its ceiling renovation that went on for more than a year, but work is still ongoing.

Contractors working Monday to Friday in portions of the ceiling may have been the reason behind a piece of concrete falling, hitting a passenger vehicle a couple of Saturdays ago.

CBC News reporter/editor Jonathan Pinto said he heard a noise on the roof of his car while waiting inside the tunnel, in the portion with the new ceiling. That was on April 13, 2019 in the afternoon.

He's heard water drip from the ceiling before, but he said "this was a bit louder than that."

"It wasn't crazy loud, but it was definitely noticeable," said Pinto.

Construction work in the ceiling of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel started January 2017, closing the tunnel overnight for more than a year before it returned to regular operations. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

When he made it to the U.S., he heard a rattling noise from the back.

It turned out it was a piece of concrete, just a bit larger than a dime, that had been wedged between the trunk hood and rear glass of his car.

"Isn't this ceiling brand new? That's kind of strange," he recalled thinking when he realized what that noise had been.

Pinto's vehicle was not damaged in any way by the fallen concrete. He will not be filing a complaint or an insurance claim. Pinto was travelling to the U.S. for leisure.

Ongoing construction

According to Robert Howell, director of operations for the tunnel, his best guess is "leftover debris" from ongoing work above the ceiling area during weekdays.

There are parts of the tunnel ceiling that are open, he said.

While some people had filed complaints during the year contractors were working on the ceiling, none of them had to do with "concrete-type debris," said Howell.

However, he reassured the tunnel will speak with construction workers about the issue Pinto raised.

If people experience issues in the tunnel like falling debris, Howell said once they exit the tunnel, they should alert officials.

They can do so by speaking with the custom officer, who will be able to help them get a hold of the supervisor.

Moving forward, there will be additional construction work taking place within the next month or two, Howell said. People can expect periodic closures with the tunnel.

If you've had a similar experience as Pinto, let us know by sending an email to

With files from Tony Doucette and Dale Molnar


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