Gordie Howe Bridge towers rise

Each tower is composed of 51 segments constructed using a jump-form climbing system.
Highway & Network Management / January 19, 2022 2 minutes Read
By David Arminas
Temporary struts are connecting and supporting both pairs of towers as they continue to climb on opposite banks of the Detroit River, which is the border between Detroit in the US and the Canadian city of Windsor (image courtesy Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority)

Work is progressing on the 2.5km Gordie Howe International Bridge between Canada and the US with the four towers reaching more than 100m in height.

Temporary struts are connecting and supporting both pairs of towers as they continue to climb on opposite banks of the Detroit River, which is the border between Detroit in the US and the Canadian city of Windsor. The struts will be removed once each pair of towers meet together at their final height of 220m, which expected to happen by the end of 2021, according to the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, the Canadian owner of the six-lane cable-stayed bridge.  
 
Each tower is composed of 51 different segments that are being constructed using a jump-form climbing system that “jumps” vertically up the tower every 4.5m. The jump-form systems showcase artwork from local artists from Walpole Island First Nation, Caldwell First Nation and Southwest Detroit.
 
The project team has also begun preparing the towers for construction of the bridge deck by installing temporary corbels. These will act similar to brackets that support construction of the bridge deck which is expected to begin this year and continue into 2023.   
 
Work on the back span and bridge approach, which serves as a ramp from the bridge into the ports of entry, is also underway. This includes construction of six anchor piers on both the Canadian and US ports of entry.

The bridge will have a clear span of 853m - the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America - and will have no piers in the water. Once complete, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be among the top five longest bridges in North America. The bridge will also have a dedicated pedestrian and cyclist path.

Bridging North America - comprised of ACS Infrastructure, Fluor and Aecon - is private-sector partner of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and is responsible for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of the Canadian and US Ports of Entry and the bridge. Bridging also is responsibility for the design, build and finance of the Michigan Interchange under a public-private partnership agreement. The US state of Michigan will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Michigan Interchange.

Last month, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and main contractor Bridging North America were given awarded an Envision Platinum Award, the highest possible distinction from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, as Washington DC-based non-profit organisation founded by the American Public Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Council of Engineering Companies. The award recognises efforts to achieve sustainable development and environmental performance standards at every stage of an infrastructure project, from design to construction and implementation.

To earn the Envision Platinum award, projects must demonstrate sustainability through a third-party project verification process and a comprehensive independent peer-review process conducted and overseen by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. The evaluation assesses the program’s performance across 60 sustainability criteria addressing a wide range of indicators including community quality of life, mobility, collaboration, planning, sustainability management, materials, energy, water, economic prosperity, environmental impacts, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and resilience.

For more information about the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, visit: www.GordieHoweInternationalBridge.com

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