Major Reconstruction To Close Windsor-Detroit Tunnel

Starting this fall, users of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel can expect some detours.

A major reconstruction project will see the tunnel closed on weeknights for eight months starting in October or November. The entire concrete ceiling of the 86-year-old structure is being replaced at a cost of nearly $17-million.

The closures will take Sunday through Thursday from 9pm to 5:30am into May 2018.

Tunnel President Neil Belitsky says this is phase three of the tunnel upgrades. "We'll be replacing the ceiling in the tunnel." He explains, "The ceiling actually separates the driving surface where the public travels everyday from an exhaust duct that's above the tunnel so it has no impact in terms of the integrity of the tunnel or anything being underwater."      

Belitsky says the overnight closures means the ceiling upgrades will take some time to complete.

"It's going to take an extended period of time, but we looked at the project about a year ago and were able to work with our engineers and the construction companies to limit the disruption to about eight months."

The president says he's not anticipating any layoffs.

"We have other miscellaneous work for folks to do and because we're closed some of the staff that's generally in the toll booths will be reassigned to security duties just to make sure that nobody inadvertently tries to come on the property during the construction hours."

A few full weekend closures are also expected this fall. During the closures the cross-border traffic will be detoured to the Ambassador Bridge, and Belitsky says tunnel officials are working with bridge officials, along with representatives from Windsor and Detroit.

Tunnel officials will be at Windsor city council on Monday outlining the project.

- with files from AM800's Rob Hindi