The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) has announced that they have signed a fixed priced contract with Bridging North America to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. The announcement also signifies that all contractual steps have been completed and construction can begin.
The fixed-priced contract is valued at $5.7 billion (nominal value), which includes the design build (DB) phase and the operation, maintenance, rehabilitation (OMR) phase. Bridging North America will receive progress payments during construction and a substantial completion payment at the end of construction.
They will also receive monthly payments for operations and maintenance over the 30-year concession (operating) period. The performance-based contract with Bridging North America is structured to ensure that the contractor has the appropriate incentives to meet or exceed the long-term objectives of safety, reliability, and capacity WDBA has set for the project.
Bridging North America has presented a 74-month construction schedule to complete the four components of the project with the bridge expected to be in service by the end of 2024.
Bridging North America has been meeting with local companies, organizations, and unions to discuss opportunities for partnerships. Representatives have also met with educational institutions to help develop the next generation of skilled trade workers. They anticipate the creation of 2,500 direct, on-site jobs including direct hires, sub-contractors, and seconded individuals as well as significant economic benefits that extend to the whole region.
The new Gordie Howe International Bridge will provide for redundancy at the busiest trade corridor between Canada and the United States with improved border processing and highway to-highway international connectivity. It also addresses future needs and will provide six lanes to meet anticipated growth in traffic over the years to come. With features like a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, LEED Silver rating for buildings and a robust Community Benefits Plan, the project will result in not only economic opportunities but positive environmental and community impacts as well.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge project includes the construction of:
o A six-lane, cable-stayed design bridge of 853 m (0.53 miles) and a total length of approximately 2.5 km (1.5 miles);
o Canadian and U.S. ports of entry including approach bridges, border inspection plazas and tolling operations on the Canadian side; and,
o A Michigan interchange connecting Interstate 75 to the U.S. port of entry.
The bridge is being built to meet the requirements for a 125-year lifespan.