Excitement is building for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project team as they begin the final steps to connect the bridge deck over the Detroit River. With 26 metres/85 feet remaining, the same width as an official NHL rink, it is anticipated that the two sides will connect at the end of June.

Over the next four-to-six weeks, bridge enthusiasts from land and the river will observe a multi-step process leading up to the bridge deck connection. Crews must install one more segment on the US side that measures 15 metres/49 feet before work starts on the final segment, known as the mid-span closure. Once connected, the bridge deck spanning the distance between the two iconic towers will measure 853 metres/0.53 miles 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. 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,” said Charl van Niekerk, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA).

Even though it will appear the bridge is completed, there is still plenty of work remaining before the bridge opens in fall 2025. 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.

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The Gordie Howe International Bridge project is No. 12 on ReNew Canada’s 2024 Top100 Projects report.

“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. Their resilience and skill are the driving force behind the realization of this historic infrastructure project,” said David Henderson, CEO, Bridging North America (BNA).

“While work remains to complete the structure, it is appropriate that we celebrate connecting this bridge deck, a physical link between the state of Michigan and our most vital trading partner. I cannot overstate the significance for the businesses and citizens on both sides of the border who rely on the timely movement of goods as well as for members of the MDOT team who have been working for decades to build relationships in Detroit neighborhoods and respond to residents’ concerns as this historic bridge becomes a reality,” said Bradley C. Wieferich, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation.

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.

Once a physical connection is made over the Detroit River, the bridge is treated as an international crossing by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) resulting in both agencies having a presence on respective bridge sites and all individuals accessing the bridge deck – including construction crews – being subject to the rules and legislation for international crossings.

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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.

Featured image: (WDBA)


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