The city, which maintains the Huron Church road at a cost of $350,000 a year, says it’s unfair for local taxpayers to subsidize international truckers. An average of 7,500 trucks use the road a day. On busy days, there are more than 11,000 trucks on the road – and truck traffic is growing by 5% to 10% a year.
David Bradley, president of the Ontario Trucking Assn., says tolling the road would increase congestion, and could cause truckers to look elsewhere for their border crossings, such as the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia-Port Huron.
“Almost a third of all merchandise trade between Canada and the United States crosses the Ambassador Bridge by truck,” Bradley says. “The City of Windsor has been a major beneficiary of this commerce. All of the trucks and their drivers may not be domiciled in the city, but they spend a lot of money in Windsor.”
At the same time, Bradley notes that the city should not have to pay for maintaining the road all by itself. He says the federal and provincial governments should be partly responsible.
If the plan goes through, Windsor would be the first local government in Canada to operate a toll highway.