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Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

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The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was formally dedicated on Saturday, November 1, 1930. President Herbert Hoover turned a "golden key" in Washington that rang bells in both Detroit and Windsor to mark the opening of the tunnel.

  • The Tunnel is jointly owned by the Cities of Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.
  • It is operated under two separate agreements by the Detroit and Canada Tunnel Corporation.
  • Approximately 27,000 to 29,000 vehicles pass through the Tunnel on a daily basis, handles almost nine million vehicles per year, of which 95% are cars and 5% are trucks.
  • Ventilation - 1.5 million cubic feet of fresh air is pumped into the tunnel each minute.
  • Renovations: A $50 Million renovation program was launched in 1993, including a completely new road surface, new sidewall tiling, new lighting, complete video surveillance and restoration of the Tunnel's stone cover beneath the Detroit River.
  • Did you know that the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is the only existing sub aqueous international vehicular border crossing? That means it is the only underwater-tunnel that crosses International borders in the entire world!
  • The tunnel has been recognized as one of the great engineering wonders of the world.
  • As you travel almost a mile, 75 feet below the surface of the Detroit River, you're surrounded by 574 lights, 80,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 750 tons of reinforced steel.
  • The Tunnel has 4 acres of roadway area and one of the most elaborate ventilation systems ever devised.
  • Located between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, The Detroit Windsor Tunnel connects the U.S. Interstates to Ontario's Highway 401. It is a large complex consisting of toll and inspection plazas on each side of the Windsor-Detroit border where you pay for your crossing and undergo inspections by Immigration and Customs.
  • The Tunnel provides one of the fastest links between Canada and the United States.

How long is the Tunnel?

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is approximately one mile long from portal to portal. The American portal is located a few hundred feet from Downtown Detroit while the Canadian end is located in the heart of Windsor's business district. The Tunnel is 5,160 feet long (1,573 meters) with a height clearance of 13 feet 2 inches (4 meters). The roadway is 22 feet wide (6.7 meters) and allows for two lanes of traffic in opposite directions. The maximum depth of the roadway beneath the river surface is 75 feet (22.8 meters).

When did the Tunnel open?

The Tunnel first opened to traffic on November 3, 1930. Construction took 26 months and cost $23,000,000. Promotion of the Tunnel started over 120 years ago.

Tunnel Construction History

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was the first vehicular subway ever built between two nations. At the time of its construction, two other tunnels were in use in the United States - the Holland Tunnel in New York and the George A. Posey Tunnel connecting Oakland and Alameda, California. As early as 1870, Detroit citizens were greatly debating the relative merits of a bridge and a tunnel between Detroit and Windsor. The railroads favored a bridge while shipping interests felt that a bridge structure would be hazardous to navigation, due to the exceedingly high masts of the sailing ships that forged the Detroit River at that time.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed


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