Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is closing weeknights for renovation project

Inside the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel
Inside the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

DETROIT – The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel will be closed on weeknights for the final phase of a $21.6 million renovation project. 

The tunnel will be closed between 8 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. beginning Sunday night through Thursday night and Friday morning. There will be occasional weekend closures, too. 

Specific dates between November and May will be announced in October. The plan is to have the tunnel open on holidays for holiday travelers. The renovations are scheduled for completion in June 2018. 

"We look forward to continuing to serve as the premier gateway to Windsor and Detroit for years to come, and this work will help us to do just that," said Neal Belitsky, president of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. "The need for this renovation project is a natural occurrence in the life of an underwater tunnel and the next step in our continued maintenance and improvement of this vital international asset."

Masonry and electrical work have been part of the renovations. Now the tunnel's concrete ceiling needs to be replaced along with other infrastructure improvements. 

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is owned by Detroit-based American Roads, which has a lease with the city of Detroit to operate the tunnel. The company said it has invested more than $50 million in infrastructure, service, safety and security improvements to the tunnel since 1998. The renovations to the 86-year-old tunnel come on the heels of renovations to the Detroit and Windsor plazas that were completed in 2015.  This current renovation work is being paid for by Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corp.

The third phase of the renovations will be completed by Michigan-based Toebe Construction Company with oversight from WSP Engineering to ensure safety.

87 years ago: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel opens to public

The tunnel opened to public traffic on Nov. 3, 1930. According to its website, www.dwtunnel.com, the tunnel was finished a year ahead of schedule in 1929. It is jointly owned by Detroit and Windso and is operated by two separate agreements by the Detroit and Canada Tunnel Corporation.

Approximately 27,000 to 29,000 vehicles pass through the Tunnel on a daily basis. The Tunnel handles almost nine million vehicles per year, of which 95 percent are cars and 5 percent are trucks, according to dwtunnel.com.

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