Cross-border Ontario truck traffic still in a freefall

TORONTO — All but one Ontario border crossing reported lower commercial traffic numbers in June 2009 compared to the same period from the year before, according to the most recent report by the Public Border Operators Association.

Truck traffic specifically, went down about 26 percent in June compared to 2008 (from 650,000 crossings to about 483,000)

Year to date, commercial traffic crossings all border points with Michigan and New York are declined by nearly a million vehicles to 2.8 million between January to June, from 3.8 million in 2008.

Only the Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge in northeast Ontario is the only crossing that had positive numbers. It posted an 18 percent improvement compared to June 2008, although, more than likely, the uptick is a result of traffic being diverted from the Seaway International Bridge in Cornwall, which has been closed for a couple months because of a land dispute between Canada Border services and the nearby Mohawk community. For the year, the crossing is still down about 5 percent.

Other than the Seaway Bridge, the border gateway with the steepest truck traffic decline throughout 2009 remains Windsor-Detroit. The Ambassador Bridge is down 31 percent for the first six months of 2009. And traffic dropped 32 percent in June from the same month is ’08. The nearby Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, however, declined by a whopping 47 percent this year.

They’re followed by the Bluewater Bridge in Sarnia (-24 percent for trucks) and the International Bridge in the twin Sault Ste. Maries (-23%).

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