Police intercepted Ottawa convoy suspected of heading to Windsor, Ont.
Police free some access to Huron Church Road, but no timeline for reopening after Ambassador Bridge protest
A convoy of several transport trucks from Ottawa that were believed to be heading to Windsor, Ont., was "successfully intercepted" by police, according to police and Windsor's mayor.
Windsor police Chief Pam Mizuno told a news conference Wednesday that a convoy of six or seven trucks about 250 kilometres outside the southwestern Ontario city was spotted in the last 24 hours.
"It was learned that this convoy had travelled from Ottawa and it's suspected that this convoy was heading to Windsor," Mizuno said. "This convoy has since circled back, travelling eastbound on [Highway] 401."
The convoy was spotted just days after the Ambassador Bridge reopened following last week's blockade that prevented traffic between Windsor and Michigan.
Police cleared protesters, who were rallying against pandemic measures, from the bridge on the weekend, executing a court injunction obtained Friday by auto-industry organizations with the city's backing.
Mayor Drew Dilkens said police "successfully intercepted" the convoy from Ottawa.
Measures protecting against further blockades
Windsor officials say there's no timeline to fully reopen the main roadway leading to the bridge, Huron Church Road, amid concerns a blockade could return.
Mizuno said police have an obligation to protect access to the bridge.
"We would like to open up traffic access to all residents who need access to Huron Church Road, and we will do so as soon as we can."
Some residents and business owners say they have been frustrated with the closure of portions of the road, a key commercial corridor. The bridge officially reopened Monday.
Dilkens said he understands the concerns of businesses affected by closures and concrete barriers.
"I want to say that I fully understand the impact of this disruption to you. But let me be clear: This remains a national security situation that prevents police from simply reopening Huron Church Road to regular traffic at this time," he said.
Dilkens said the city will work with businesses to document their losses, and include those expenses as part of Windsor's request for compensation from the federal government.
What's open and closed
Windsor police said Wednesday they have opened more access for east and westbound travel across Huron Church Road.
In a tweet, police said Industrial Drive and Northwood Street are open for east and westbound travel across Huron Church Road, and for access to travel south.
Vehicles are not permitted to turn left off of Industrial Road, or right off of Northwood Street onto Huron Church, essentially limited local traffic from accessing the Ambassador Bridge.
Since protests were dispersed off of Huron Church Road Sunday, police have maintained a heavy presence in the area and have limited local traffic onto Huron Church Road, in an effort to prevent protesters from blockading Ambassador Bridge access once again.
Police say all plans have been made in conjunction with Essex-Windsor EMS and Windsor Fire, to ensure ambulatory routes are clear.
Travel to and from the Ambassador Bridge along Huron Church Road continues to be for bridge traffic only, police say.
Dilkens announced that passengers going to and from Sandwich Town on the Central 3 and Central 3 West routes can travel for free.
On Tuesday, police said they have laid 90 charges in relation to the protest.