WINDSOR, ON and DETROIT, March 1, 2012 /CNW/ - The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel has been working on upgrades to the Detroit Tunnel plaza - both external and internal - for the past 18 months, and is ready to unveil the results of all the work. "We are very excited about all the improvements we've made," says Neal Belitsky, CEO, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. "It's been a lengthy process, and I know that many of our customers were waiting for the work to be completed, but we're almost done and the plaza is bigger and more efficient than ever!"
The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is hosting an "Open House" event on Friday, March 9th at 10:00 a.m. for invited dignitaries and the media. There will be a tour of the Detroit plaza, the new upgrades and a small reception with light refreshments and a souvenir of the event. "We are very proud of all the work that was done," says Belitsky. "Everything has been completed while the Tunnel was in full operation, which is no small feat, and we want to show off a little."
"Working in partnership with the U.S. government, we have increased the number of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Primary Inspection lanes/booths by 10%, and expanded the vehicle queuing area on the Detroit Plaza," states Belitsky. "And, the new bus processing and inspection area will take the buses out of the car lineup, so cars can move through faster."
In addition, the Detroit plaza now features an expanded CBP secondary inspection area, new exterior LED site and canopy lighting for the entire Plaza. With renovated CBP Administration offices, and staff locker/restroom areas, most of the Detroit Plaza has upgraded features that benefit both travelers and employees.
"We are very pleased with the new facility, and we think our customers are going to be happy," says Belitsky. "While security is an important service that we provide, an efficient flow of traffic is critical to our customers - especially our regular commuters. While we can't promise that they won't ever encounter a traffic slow-down, we've done everything we can to expedite the process."
The improved services on the Detroit Plaza include the addition of electronic tolling; NEXPRESS® Toll. "NEXPRESS® service provides faster and more efficient service at a reduced cost to travelers going from Detroit to Windsor and has already attracted well over a thousand customers," explains Belitsky. "NEXPRESS® Toll is very convenient, and is the least expensive way to cross. With easy online registration and re-load, NEXPRESS® Toll is the way of the future. We're hoping to have the program in place very soon on both sides of the border."
In addition to the more visible improvements, and as part of an effort to save energy and reduce operating costs, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel converted from full-transverse ventilation to semi-transverse ventilation. "This strategy allows us to reduce operating energy costs by over 50%," outlines Belitsky. "In the event of an emergency in the tunnel, operations would revert to full-transverse ventilation, in which both supply and exhaust fans would be operated."
Enhancing on-going initiatives to become a "greener" corporation while improving overall safety, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is currently installing a tunnel roadway lighting solution that meets all federal and international tunnel lighting standards for quality and cost-efficient lighting. "Following an extensive review process, we chose a Cooper Valet LED luminaire fixture," states Belitsky. "As a result, over the next 10 years, the Detroit Windsor Tunnel will save more than $1.18 million dollars in energy costs. That's the kind of environmental impact we like to see!"
About The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel LLC
The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is the only vehicular international subaqueous border crossing in the world. It has been recognized as one of the great engineering wonders of the world and is one of the most important border crossings between the United States and Canada. Located between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, connecting the US Interstates to Ontario's Highway 401, it is one of the fastest links between Canada and the United States.
For further information:
Jim Fredette, Commercial Operations Manager