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25 June 2019

Gordie Howe Bridge progresses with community support money pledged

First published25/06/2019
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The Gordie Howe International Bridge to be open in 2024 (photo courtesy WDBA and Bridging North America)
The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and other agencies involved in the US$4.25 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge have pledged millions of dollars in community support.

WDBA, contractor Bridging North America, the US state of Michigan and the federal Canadian government announced the support plan, which involves more than 30 agencies and organisations, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The plan includes a $15 million Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy for both sides of the border, including $6 million for aesthetics and landscaping for communities close to the bridge.

The structure is named after Canadian ice hockey player Gordie Howe who played for many years with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and will be open in 2024. It will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and the seventh longest in the world. It will also set the record for longest composite steel and concrete cable-stayed bridge deck in the world.

The fixed-price contract worth $4.25 billion includes the design-build phase and the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation phase. Contractor Bridging North America will receive progress payments during construction and a completion payment at the end of construction. BNA will also receive monthly payments over the 30-year operating period.

The crossing will connect the US city of Detroit and the Canadian city of Windsor on opposite sides of the Detroit River. The bridge will link the Interstate 75 and Interstate 96 in Michigan with the new extension of Highway 401 - called the Herb Gray Parkway - in the Canadian province of Ontario. The two cities are already connected by the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. But traffic, including heavy trucks, using the bridge must navigate small city streets on both side of the border.

The bridge project includes the Canadian and US ports of entry, the bridge and Michigan Interchange. Preliminary site work started in 2018 and now includes completing final design, conducting environmental reviews, site preparation and soil testing in preparation for primary construction work that begins next year.

Relocation of utilities and test pile driving for the main pier structures are ongoing on the Canadian side. On the Detroit side, workers have been scrubbing – clearing - the land to make way for the entry plaza in the community of Delray. All residents have been relocated from the bridge site on both sides of the border.

In April Officials US officials said toxic industrial chemicals known as PFAS - perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances - had been found in soil and groundwater on the Detroit site. But soil movement and water clean-up was underway.

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