An outage to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection import/export processing system on November 11, 2014, resulted in clogged roads in Windsor and other Ontario border communities and frustrated cross border drivers.
The outage started in the early hours of the morning and was resolved around 6:00 pm, resulting in truckers waiting up to five hours to clear the border. Border experts have estimated that the delay in border processing had an economic impact in the millions of dollars.
In December 2010, the U.S. bound lanes between Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan were closed as a result of a snow storm which saw hundreds of vehicles stranded along the highway.
More than 7,000 trucks per day cross the Windsor-Detroit border. Studies by industry groups have shown that, if the crossings over the Detroit River were closed or blocked for any reason, manufacturing and assembly production lines in various parts of Canada and the U.S. would be forced to halt operations within a matter of only a few hours.
The new publicly-owned bridge and highway connects at Windsor and Detroit will provide an alternative crossing option for travellers as well as additional border crossing capacity to help mitigate against unplanned delays at other border crossings.