Windsor-Detroit Tunnel access route changes today

Starting at 9 a.m. this morning, drivers will no longer be able to cruise freely up and down Goyeau Street in Windsor.

Goyeau Street closed to make room for new $30-million tunnel plaza

Beginning Monday access to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel changes. 0:27

Drivers are no longer able to cruise freely up and down Goyeau Street in Windsor.

The Detroit-Windsor tunnel plaza has taken over the block between Wyandotte and Park streets.

Drivers now have to access the tunnel from the south.

City engineer Mario Sonego said commuters can check out the plans for the new set-up on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's website.

"You'll see a queuing lane for the plaza, improved booths when it's all done [and] a new NEXUS lane. So it's going to be much more efficient for travelers going into the tunnel and out of the tunnel," Sonego said.

Windsor Fire and Rescue Chief Bruce Montone said the closure won't affect first responders.

"Alternative response routes have already been planned. We’re not concerned about any minor delays," he said. "Staff, along with response partners, have coordinated our efforts to ensure our alternative routes are preselected."

Montone said his department is in constant contact with the city and Ministry of Transportation when it comes to construction projects, including the Herb Gray Parkway.

"The public’s interests are always protected. We haven’t had any problems to date," Montone said.

The Transit Windsor tunnel bus route will experience a detour beginning Monday. The bus stop at St. Alphonsus Church will be relocated to the southeast corner of University Avenue East and Goyeau Street.

"This is a significant change in traffic flow in downtown Windsor," said Mario Sonego, City Engineer in a news release. "The expanded tunnel plaza entrance moves right up to Wyandotte, with Goyeau Street between Wyandotte Street and Park Street no longer being a through street. Drivers will need to adjust to accommodate the changes."

Construction on the tunnel plaza will continue all this year, and into 2014. The project will cost close to $30 million.

The 1.5-kilometre tunnel, which connects downtown Windsor with Detroit, can handle as many as 2,000 cars an hour. It is used more by passenger traffic, tourists and businesspeople than for trade. The nearby Ambassador Bridge is North America's busiest border crossing.

A look at how traffic flow will change at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. (Courtesy City of Windsor)