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Ambassador Bridge open to US-bound traffic as Canadians protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Matt Moroun releases statement regarding backup
Posted at 5:23 AM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 18:23:57-05

(WXYZ) — The ongoing protests in Canada over COVID-19 vaccine mandates are having a serious impact on Detroit drivers.

The Ambassador Bridge continues to be shut down to Canadian-bound traffic, impacting how drivers can travel in and out of the country, and it's forcing those who can't use the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to re-route to the Blue Water Bridge.

Early Tuesday morning, the bridge reopened to US-bound traffic.

The Ambassador Bridge is the nation's busiest international border crossing, with millions of trucks passing through here every year. It came to a dead stop on Monday afternoon as supporters of the Freedom Convoy zeroed in on the Detroit-Windsor border.

The protest happened on the Ontario side where supporters of the Freedom Convoy protested against the COVID-19 mandates and testing rules.

The traffic jam backed up for miles, all the way onto I-75 in the U.S. and also into Canada.

In a tweet, Windsor police told travelers to use the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and truckers to use the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario.

The Freedom Convoy started in Ottawa two weeks ago with hundreds of truckers blocking the street. Canada's capital city has declared a state of emergency.

"When you're trying to put out a fire, you don't throw oil on it. We don't want to see the kind of activity and loss of life that we saw in the Capitol just a year ago in Washington," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said.

The protests are growing in Canada and continuing to branch out to different locations along the northern border. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking out against the Freedom Convoy while Canadians try to exercise their right to have their voice heard.

"Everyone is tired of COVID but these protests are not the way to get through it," he said.

Trudeau also added in a tweet on Monday night that Canadians have the right to protest, "but let's be clear: They don't have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens' daily lives. It has to stop."

Matt Moroun, chairman of the Detroit International Bridge Company, released the following statement regarding the backup on the Ambassador Bridge:

"International commerce needs to resume. The Ambassador Bridge and the Moroun family sympathize with truck drivers and those caught up in this blockade. We recognize that truck drivers are essential workers that work hard to deliver necessities to all of us, and that the Canadian government has done a tremendous job with vaccine rates. The Ambassador Bridge has a solemn obligation to facilitate safe and efficient international trade and travel. We encourage the appropriate officials to take prompt action to alleviate the situation as quickly as possible in a manner that reflects mutual respect."