My husband and I live just a 20 minute drive from the Canadian border, so we cross frequently. We've learned to avoid the Detroit/Windsor tunnel during weekday afternoon rush hours and at popular casino times or when there's a major event going on in either city. Today, at 1:15 pm, with nothing special going on in the downtown of either city, we decided to spend the afternoon in Windsor. Since my TracFone only works in the US, I also have a SpeakOut phone that only works in Canada. The plan was to drive to the Seven/11 closest to the Canadian end of the Ambassador Bridge, top up the balance on my phone before it expired tomorrow, go to the Ontario Tourism Centre for ideas for where to go later this summer, go out to lunch, and go home. We got off of the Detroit freeway exit for the bridge (by which time there was no way to avoid crossing) and got trapped in a short backup from the toll booth. Little did we know that the backup was all the way across the bridge from Canadian Immigration. After 2-1/4 hours we got to a booth only to be yelled at by an immigration officer having a bad day when we mentioned the delay. At that point it was late, we were angry and hungry, and we weren't interested in visiting Canada again this summer. So we ate lunch and drove home through the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel without incident.
We've hit major delays at the Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron and Sarnia on summer Fridays and Sundays when people are going to and returning from their cottages, but we've never seen anything like this at the Ambassador Bridge before.