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Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor, Detroit ‘temporarily closed’ amid trucker protest

Click to play video: 'Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor to Detroit sees delays amid trucker protest in Canadian city'
Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor to Detroit sees delays amid trucker protest in Canadian city
WATCH: Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor to Detroit sees delays amid trucker protest in Canadian city – Feb 8, 2022

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The Ambassador Bridge land border crossing that connects Windsor, Ont., and Detroit is “not accessible,” police say, as protesters demonstrating in solidarity with the ongoing anti-mandate protests in Ottawa are blocking traffic.

In a notice Monday evening, the Ontario Provincial Police’s Essex County detachment said as of approximately 8 p.m., the Ambassador Bridge is “not accessible in both directions going into the United States as well as entering into Canada.”

The force said those looking to travel into the United States should utilize the Bluewater Bridge in Sarnia.

“Police are asking people to avoid the area, if possible,” the notice reads. “Updates will be provided as they become available.”

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In an email to Global News earlier on Monday evening, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed that demonstrations were “contributing to significant border wait times” at the bridge.

Initially, the CBSA website said wait times at the bridge could be up to four hours, but by 10 p.m., the agency said the bridge was “temporarily closed.”

In an email to Global News just before 11 p.m., Darius Goze, a Public Information Officer with the Windsor Police, said there were approximately 200 protesters and 200 vehicles at the bridge.

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“No tickets and no arrests have been made at this time,” the email read.

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Asked whether police would intervene to force protesters to leave, Goze said “only the level of intervention necessary will be used to ensure the safety of the public and to maintain peace, order and public security.”

“The use of force is always a last resort,” he continued.

Late Monday morning, Windsor Police warned that there was a “high potential for traffic congestion along Huron Church Road again today.”

“Anticipate travel delays,” the force said in a tweet. “Officers will be in the area to address traffic issues.”

Just after 8 p.m., the force said Huron Church Road was closed to all traffic between College Avenue and Tecumseh Road West.

“Avoid the area,” the tweet reads. “We urge those involved not to endanger members of the public, jeopardize public peace or participate in illegal events.”

The protest in Windsor comes after solidarity demonstrations were held in cities across the country over the weekend.

In Toronto, two men were arrested on Saturday in connection with the protests.

Meanwhile, crowds of protesters have remained in Ottawa for more than a week, blocking traffic and camping out the city’s downtown core.

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Hundreds of tickets have been issued, and Ottawa Police say dozens of criminal investigations have been launched.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa requesting more Ontario resources to end protests'
Ottawa requesting more Ontario resources to end protests

The demonstrations, initially aimed at denouncing vaccine mandates for truck drivers crossing the Canada-U.S. border, has since morphed into a protest against a variety of COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government.

In Windsor, police said anyone “found committing crimes will be investigated and charged.”

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