Advance construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge has started on the Michigan side, with a July 17 groundbreaking in southwest Detroit.
Construction could start in earnest by early October. The bridge is scheduled to open in 2020.
“Construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge will help spur economic activity in Ontario and Michigan. Once in service, the new bridge will accelerate the flow of goods and services and provide a much-needed crossing alternative at the busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing, creating thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border,” according to the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.
Alta Equipment Company participated in the groundbreaking for the $4.5 billion project. Founded and headquartered in Detroit, Alta provides machinery from Volvo Construction Equipment and Link-Belt as the largest heavy equipment dealer in the Midwest.
Rob Chiles, president of Alta Equipment – Construction, said in a statement that he is excited to see this project move forward given the enormous opportunity it represents for employers in the region and the overall Detroit economy.
“The new Gordie Howe International Bridge is one of the largest construction projects in Detroit and will bring hundreds of new jobs to the region,” said Chiles. “From skilled labor to material suppliers and support personnel, this project represents a massive undertaking – and a massive opportunity for Michigan.”
Many dignitaries were present at the groundbreaking ceremony, including Gov. Rick Snyder, former Gov. Jim Blanchard, former Detroit Red Wing and Alta spokesperson Mickey Redmond, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft and Amarjeet Sohi, minister of infrastructure and communities in Canada.
With Tuesday’s groundbreaking, work on the new bridge enters the earliest stages, with the next few months expected to feature largely site preparation and testing work. Construction is expected to take four to five years to complete, with opening of the bridge anticipated in 2022 or 2023.
“At Alta, we’re excited for this long-delayed bridge to officially break ground,” said Chiles. “This bridge is just the latest step in Detroit and Michigan’s construction boom, and we’re ready to supply equipment and support this work as the project moves forward.”