Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will not be accepting cash payment for any vehicles conducting essential travel via the eastbound Blue Water Bridge (BWB) to Canada, effective March 26.
The announcement comes in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations designed to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
All commercial traffic will need to pay by prepaid commuter account cards or debit/credit forms of payment. MDOT encourages any commercial travelers who wish to apply for the prepaid commercial account to visit www.federalbridge.ca and complete the application.
The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) has suspended all private passenger vehicle cash transactions effective March 18 for their westbound BWB crossing.
In order to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 disease, MDOT’s BWB has added further restrictions on forms of payment and will not accept cash payments for any toll crossing, effective 11:59 p.m. March 26.
Reducing person-to-person contact via cash exchange will help reduce exposure to the virus.
In accordance with orders from the United States and Canadian federal authorities, temporary travel restrictions on all land ports of entry and ferries between the U.S. and Canada have been in effect since March 20.
Border protection agencies from both nations remain committed to supporting safe travel for essential customers and commercial truck traffic. The agencies and bridge administrations will follow all federal guidelines intended to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will suspend normal operations at U.S.-Canada land ports of entry and only process travelers engaged in essential travel. The trade of legitimate goods will not be interrupted.
According to the CBP, some cases of essential travel include:
- U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S.
- Those traveling for medical purposes.
- Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.
- Individuals traveling to work in the U.S. (including those working in the farming or agriculture industries who must travel between the U.S. and Canada for work).
- Those traveling for emergency response and public health purposes.
- Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (such as truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the U.S. and Canada).
- Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, their spouses or children returning to the U.S.
- Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
- Individuals traveling for tourism purposes like sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events are not considered essential travelers.
Detailed information on restrictions to entry into the U.S. is available from CBP here. Official guidance on restrictions to entry into Canada is still forthcoming and expected to be similar. For more information regarding the essential travel definitions or travel restrictions, contact the CBP or CBSA.