Gordie Howe International Bridge span sides set to connect

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Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project team is taking the final steps to connect the bridge deck over the Detroit River.

With just 26 metres/85 feet between the two sides – the same width as an official NHL rink, it is expected that the two sides will connected by the end of June.

A multi-step process will take place over the next four to six weeks, including the installation of one more segment on the US side that measures 15 metres/49 feet before work starts the mid-span closure. Once connected, the bridge deck spanning the distance between the two iconic towers will measure 853 metres, making it the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America and the tenth longest in the world. It will also be the longest composite steel and concrete bridge deck for any cable-stayed bridge in the world.

“Achieving the bridge deck connection is monumental in the progress on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project,” said Charl van Niekerk, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA). “This new bridge is the physical representation of the international cooperation that exists between the neighbouring communities in Windsor and Detroit, throughout Ontario and Michigan, and across North America.

“After years of planning and construction, we remain on course to open the bridge in fall 2025, and, with that, create new opportunities for economic growth and prosperity.”

Following the connection, crews will stress stay cables and install electrical, fire suppression and drainage systems, barriers, signage, lighting, deck paving, and pavement markings and complete the multi-use path.

“Bridging North America is proud of the dedicated engineers and skilled trades people whose unwavering commitment to safety and excellence has propelled us closer to completing the bridge deck of the Gordie Howe International Bridge,” said David Henderson, CEO, Bridging North America (BNA). “Their resilience and skill are the driving force behind the realization of this historic infrastructure project.”

The Gordie Howe International Bridge features 216 stay cables, of which all but 10 have been installed. The remaining cables will be installed by mid-June.

Progress continues on the Canadian and US Ports of Entry (POEs) and the Michigan Interchange, including:

  • interior work on all buildings within the Canadian POE including window fixtures, heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing and flooring
  • interior work on more than half of the buildings at the US POE
  • placement of all the girders on the ramps over I-75 leading to the US POE.

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