Trucks backed up for miles at Ambassador, Blue Water bridges along Michigan-Ontario border
DETROIT (WILX) - The busiest border crossing in the United States was partially shut down Monday due to a protest in Canada.
The Ambassador Bridge in Detroit had trucks backed up in Canada and Michigan for miles. The back up started at about 3 p.m., stranding thousands of truckers on Detroit freeways with nowhere to go.
The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel remains open.
Tuesday morning, trucks attempted to travel using the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, causing back ups in St. Clair County.
As of Tuesday afternoon, U.S. bound traffic on the Ambassador Bridge is fully open, but traffic into Canada remains closed.
The protest was organized with a group called the Freedom Convoy. Protestors have used hundreds of parked trucks to block traffic. They said they oppose vaccination mandates that require truck drivers crossing the border to be fully vaccinated or face testing and quarantine requirements.
Canadian authorities said 90% of all Canadian truckers are vaccinated.
The protest began in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, in late January. A State of Emergency was declared Sunday in Ottawa over the disruption caused by the protests. Many Canadian residents have expressed outrage over the behavior of the protestors, who are reported to have set off fireworks and urinated on the grounds of the Canadian National War Memorial and marched with confederate flags with swastikas.
One protestor was arrested in Ottawa after reportedly throwing feces at another person Saturday. Police in Ottawa are investigating reports of protestors attempting to set fire to an apartment building. Surveillance video captured two men light several fire-starter bricks in the lobby of the apartment and then appear to use tape to secure the doors closed behind them when they left.
A good Samaritan saw the flames from outside the building, made his way inside and extinguished the fire.
The Ambassador Bridge is responsible for 25% of all trade between the U.S. and Canada. The protests have already impacted deliveries in Michigan and the Midwest.
“We’re already backed up in our own company loads from previous weeks. We can’t get enough loads across the boarder, not because of the protests but because we don’t have enough vaccinated drivers,” said Brian Hitchcock, with the Michigan Trucking Asssociation. “Our agriculture section of Michigan is not going to get the deliveries for spring planting already.”
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the American Trucking Associations, roughly 17% of truck drivers who make trips across the U.S.-Canada border are impacted by the vaccine mandates in both countries.
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