With implementation of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan at the midway point of its five-year term, the project team has identified new investment opportunities worth $2.3 million. Eleven new projects are being added to the Plan, along with expanded funding to six existing initiatives, all of which bring further benefits to the local communities.
“New trees, art installations, supports for small businesses, youth programming and improvements to homes, parks and community hubs are a few initiatives that are already empowering the local communities to implement their vision for the future. We can’t wait to see similar successes stemming from these new programs in the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan,” said Heather Grondin, VP, corporate affairs and external relations, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.
The funding is part of the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy, a $20 million (CDN) direct community investment on both sides of the border. In 2022, the project team accepted several new proposals and undertook community consultation to review the current priorities of the neighbourhoods closest to the project. The $2.3 million will be invested in the following community priority areas:
- $1.1 million for Community Partnerships
- $659,600 for Economic Benefits
- $400,000 for Community Safety and Connections
- $142,000 for Aesthetics and Landscaping.
Funding has been released to the organizations. Their projects will be delivered over the next one-to-two years.
“It is incredibly exciting to reach the mid-way point in the delivery of the Community Benefits Plan where the team is allocating part of the remaining funds to new initiatives and new funding partners as well as adding to successful existing ones. We look forward to the positive outcomes from the contributions made from our partners,” said Michael Hatchell, CEO, Bridging North America.
Since 2019, the project team has partnered with over 65 US and Canadian organizations to deliver the two components of the Community Benefits Plan – the Workforce Development and Participation Strategy and Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy. The implementation of these initiatives adds six new delivery partners to the Community Benefits Plan family.
“Local community organizations are working day in and day out to build stronger and healthier West End neighbourhoods in Windsor. This initiative will support their vital work and positively impact the lives of our most vulnerable residents,” said Irek Kusmierczyk, MP for Windsor—Tecumseh.
“This is another great day for Michigan and Canada as we celebrate the connections, both literally and metaphorically, made possible by this iconic structure. These awards further demonstrate the commitment from MDOT and our partners at WDBA and Bridging North America to enriching the lives of the citizens in the neighborhoods near the bridge,” said Mohammed Alghurabi, senior project manager, Michigan Department of Transportation.
Featured image: Turtle Island – The Aboriginal Education Centre at the University of Windsor will receive funding to host two Pow Wow events, along with March break and summer camp programming to engage local secondary-school students. (WDBA)