Windsor-Detroit Tunnel closed for 10 days starting Friday night

Windsor residents who commute to Detroit via the tunnel bus will have to make other plans, as the tunnel completely shuts down for ten days for repairs.

Full closure will take place from October 20 at 8 p.m. until October 30 at 5:30 a.m.

The Windsor-Detroit Tunnel will be closed for 10 days starting 8 p.m. Friday. (Jeff Kowalsky/Reuters)

Windsor residents who travel to Detroit via the tunnel will have to make other plans, as the tunnel completely shuts down for ten days to allow for a ceiling replacement project. 

It's the first time the tunnel has been fully closed for this long, according to Windsor Detroit Tunnel Corporation CEO Carolyn Brown. Construction crews will be using the closure to start replacing the structure's 87-year-old ceiling, in addition to other maintenance. 

Heather Laframboise takes Transit Windsor's tunnel bus to get to her job with a law firm in Detroit. That service will be completely suspended during the closure, so she plans to carpool and take the Ambassador Bridge.

"What can you do? They have to do it ... you don't want chunks of ceiling falling on you," she said. 

Heather Laframboise is a regular tunnel bus commuter. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Brian Rogers also takes the tunnel bus to commute to his job at a Detroit bank. He estimates the wait time at the bridge will long coming home from work.

"I'm going to go to work on Friday and hopefully get off in time to catch one of the last buses home."

While the Canadian side of the Ambassador Bridge is able to process bus passengers, the American side is not. In the past, Detroit-bound Transit Windsor buses were able to use the Ambassador Bridge by pre-clearing passengers on the Canadian side.

But officials said the buses aren't able to do that this time because it is too complicated.

Transit Windsor's tunnel bus service will not operate during the closure. (CBC)

"Our commuter base isn't really all that high," said Transit Windsor executive director Pat Delmore. "The effect of the ridership is more on those that are just going back and forth to [events] on either side of the border."

Delmore said that Transit Windsor will offer service to the 7:30 p.m. Detroit Red Wings vs. Washington Capitals hockey game Friday night through the tunnel and then back across the bridge.

The crossing will close on October 20 at 8 p.m. and will reopen on October 30 at 5:30 a.m. Regular weeknight closures of the tunnel will then be in place for the next seven months.