Gordie Howe Bridge cost spikes to $6.4-billion; completion delayed to 2025

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Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

A 10-month delay has been announced by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) pushing completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge to September 2025. The delay is being blamed on disruptions related to the pandemic.

Also, the WDBA says the cost of the project has spiked $600 million to $6.4 billion. WDBA contracting team Bridging North America (BNA) have agreed to amend the contract to include the new September 2025 construction completion date, new measures to ensure this date is achieved, and an updated overall contract value of $6.4 billion.

“After a three-year pandemic and considering the size and complexity of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, our project team is pleased that the impact to the construction schedule is limited to only 10 months beyond the original contracted completion date and that we could agree on a reasonable adjustment to the contract value,” said WDBA CEO Charl van Niekerk in a statement.

“With safety as our top priority, we will continue to work together to deliver this much needed infrastructure to the thousands of eager travellers ready to cross North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge.”

Beginning in March 2020 and over the remainder of the pandemic, various governments, including the governments of Ontario and the State of Michigan, issued hundreds of emergency and executive orders that applied to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project resulting in schedule and cost relief that is contemplated in the project agreement between WDBA and BNA.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the project team was able to make significant progress on bridge and road deck construction, stay cable installation and port of entry facilities which helped drive the overall construction schedule.

In 2024, the public can expect to see the bridge deck connect over the Detroit River and the last of the 216 stay cables installed, as well as the completion of the POE agency buildings and the concrete for the I-75 ramps.

“Throughout the pandemic, BNA made progress on the project by keeping people working while also keeping them safe,” said BNA interim CEO David Henderson. “We were able to do so by resequencing construction activities in a manner that aligned with provincial and state health and safety orders and directives and our own rigorous safety protocols.”

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