Protestors flocked to the Ambassador bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor earlier this week, forcing a temporary closure of the area. The bridge has since been technically reopened, but those in the know say that “it really isn’t.”
Officials say accessibility is still limited from Canada into the US due to protestors remaining in the area, and drivers looking to enter the US from Canada via the Ambassador bridge are still experiencing major delays, reported Fox 2 Detroit.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says that the technically open bridge “really isn’t open… This is getting really tiring. Those folks need to go home. This will not last for long, that I can assure you.”
Dilkens went on to say that removal of the protestors speaking out against vaccine and COVID-19 mandates could be tricky, and would have to be well planned and executed.
“The problem is, I don’t want to see us flush out 200 protesters today and have 300 tomorrow,” he said, calling some of the protestors “mentally unstable” and calling their alleged tempers “the real issue.”
Windsor Police shared the same sentiments about the bridge in a recent email, stating that the bridge is not closed but “the presence of demonstrators are making it difficult to access the bridge.”
“We are urging all motorists to avoid both access points to the bridge. All those attempting to cross the Ambassador Bridge should expect significant delays,” added Constable Talya Natyshak, a member of the Windsor Police Service’s Corporate Communications Unit.
Here in Windsor #Canada trucker protesters have shut down access to the Ambassador Bridge. They don’t want #COVID mandates and say they will stay until change is made. @WWJ950 @WWJTraffic @FOX2News #TruckersConvoy #FreedomConvoy2022 pic.twitter.com/4rNHufSQ4o— Charlie Langton (@charlielangton) February 10, 2022
Because protestors are blocking bridge entrances, truck traffic has been diverted to the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, causing a whole series of other issues, as the bridge is not in a position to manage such a surge in traffic.
Drivers not involved in the protest say that the road block has affected their deliveries and pay.
“Coming back last night I didn’t have enough hours to get back, so I waited until this morning – it was three hours to get back,” said truck driver Seth Allen. “It adds time to a run and at the end of the week, we get less miles than we normally get, and we get paid by the mile.”
Uninvolved truckers aren’t the only ones losing money – General Motors and Ford have canceled shifts for workers because parts have been unable to reach the plants due to the blockage of the crucial bridge. A resolution has yet to be reached.
“This is drivers’ line in the sand,” commented former head of the Michigan Trucking Association, Mickey Blashfield.
“They are not anti-vaccine, they are not anti-safety, they spend 90 percent of their time in their cabs,” he continued. Blashfield says that lifting the vaccine requirement for truck drivers is the best way to resume typical commerce between the US and Canada.
“The borders have become invisible, we have grown with great efficiency,” Blashfield said. “A product may go back and forth across the border seven or eight times before it is assembled in a finished vehicle and then can be sold on either side of the border.”