Final design work, early preparation construction under-way for $3.8 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge

Gordie howe bridge rendering
Credit: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Final design work is under-way for the Gordie Howe International Bridge construction project.

The projected construction cost for the Windsor/Detroit span is $3.8 billion, with an additional $1.9 billion for three decades of operation and maintenance after the bridge opens in 2024.

Fluor Canada, ACS Infrastructure Canada and Aecon are leading the international consortium building the structure under the banner Bridging North America.

“Significant activity on both sides of the border will continue during 2019 on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project,” Mark Butler, spokesman for the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), told the Windsor Star. “Activities include advancing the design from 30 per cent to construction-ready design, utility surveys and relocations, site clearing and pre-construction activities.”

The work this year will also include installation of test piles and other geotechnical exploration for the bridge foundation to test for soil conditions, he said.

Across the river in Detroit, final site preparation will be taking place for a new Howe bridge plaza. Early-stage construction will also start on the new I-75 freeway interchange to connect with the new bridge, including sewer and siphon work, Butler said.

The $20 million in “community benefits” for the bridge’s host communities should receive final approval this spring, he said.

“WDBA and Bridging North America are committed to ensuring the public and our stakeholders are informed, and we will continue to consult with communities on both sides of the border,” Butler said.

Construction of the six-lane, cable-stayed span is expected to require about 2,500 workers during the six years of construction on both sides of the border. At present, there are a couple of hundred workers employed.


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