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There'll probably be light at the end of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, but no way to travel through it for a while.

The tunnel's operator, the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corp., is closing it for construction. Work is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday and the tunnel will stay completely closed until 5:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30.

In the meantime, the only way to cross the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor will be the Ambassador Bridge.

After Oct. 30, the tunnel will be closed for construction work between 8 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and occasionally on weekends until June 2018.

Officials with Customs and Border Protection advised travelers who use the Ambassador Bridge to using Radio Frequency Identification cards to speed up border crossing. To apply for a card, log on to the agency's website.

They also recommend motorists travel outside of peak times, which are usually from 6-10 a.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends.

The Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corp. announced the closures in August. The closures are needed for crews to complete the final phase of a $21.6 million renovation project, which includes replacing the tunnel's concrete ceiling and other upgrades to the infrastructure.

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corp. are paying for the renovations, which will be completed by Michigan-based Toebe Construction Co.

Detroit-based American Roads operates the tunnel under a lease with the city of Detroit. The company said it has invested more than $50 million in infrastructure, service, safety and security improvements to the tunnel since 1998.

The 86-year-old tunnel is nearly a mile long and 75 feet below the Detroit River. It has about 12,000 daily users and is the only existing sub aqueous international automobile border crossing, according to The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

 

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