The busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada saw fewer trucks during most of last year, amid indications there is less freight flowing south.
Through the end of November, 2.18 million trucks crossed the Ambassador Bridge, down from 2.35 million during the same time in 2012, according to newly released figures from the Public Border Operators Association.
Despite less truck traffic along the Ambassdor Bridge, car traffic was up.
Blame the drop mainly on Canadian manufacturing says bridge president Dan Stamper in an interview with the Windsor Star. “Mostly it’s that manufacturing is not as strong in Canada as in the past,” he said. “A lot of manufacturing has moved to Mexico and southern states in the U.S. We are seeing that switch in manufacturing in the traffic patterns.”
However, construction nearby the bridge may also be a contributing factor, Stamper concedes. Truck traffic at the nearby Blue Water Bridge was up 4% through November of 2013, compared to the year before.
Surprisingly, Stamper did not use the opportunity about lower Ambassador Bridge truck numbers to reiterate opposition to building a new publically-owned span connecting Detroit and Ontario, which would naturally compete with privately-owned bridge. That may be because the project is stalled, according to the Toledo Blade.
It points out the $4 billion project still needs help from Congress to build a $250 million customs plaza, despite the Canadian government picking up the rest of the tab for building the bridge.
It’s estimated it will take several years to build the new bridge while the Ambassador Bridge turns 85 years old this year.