Infrastructure Canada announced the appointment of Charl van Niekerk to the position of chief executive officer of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), the Crown corporation responsible for the delivery of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

Mr. van Niekerk recently held the position of executive vice president – Transportation at Infrastructure Ontario and brings a wealth of experience in infrastructure planning and delivery, asset management, and operational management in the public and private sectors. Mr. van Niekerk has gained significant experience overseeing the delivery of complex provincial highway, subway, and rail projects, including the successful delivery of the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway that connects to the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Globally, he has an extensive leadership background in the construction, operations, and engineering industry.

Charl van Niekerk, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. (WDBA)

“The Gordie Howe International Bridge project is both history making and future building. I am eager to start working with WDBA staff, the Government of Canada, project partners and key stakeholders as we complete construction, open the bridge and connect cross-border travellers through the newest and most inspiring landmark between Canada and the US. It is an honour to be named as WDBA’s CEO,” said van Niekerk.

He will assume his new responsibilities starting July 25.

“I am pleased to welcome Mr. van Niekerk as Chief Executive Officer of Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. Mr. van Niekerk’s leadership, knowledge, and expertise will be an asset in ensuring the successful completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, which is vital to Canada’s economic prosperity.” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

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The Gordie Howe International Bridge (No. 12 on ReNew’s 2023 Top100 Projects report) is the largest and most ambitious infrastructure project along the Canada-US border. WDBA and its project partners are making great progress on its ongoing construction with less than 30 m/100 ft to be built on the bridge towers until they reach their full height and deck construction over the Detroit River well underway.

“The Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Charl van Niekerk as WDBA’s new CEO. Charl joins the Crown corporation at an exciting time as we are now at the peak of construction activity. His depth of experience in all stages of infrastructure development including overseeing the delivery of the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway make him well suited to provide strategic guidance through construction and lead WDBA’s transition to become the operator of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. We look forward to working with Charl in this key leadership role. The Board and I thank the executive team at WDBA for their support during the CEO search,” said Tim Murphy, Chair, WDBA Board of Directors.

Featured image: (WDBA)


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