Significant Progress Made on Gordie Howe International Bridge Project in 1st 1,000 Days

    Work progresses on the U.S. side of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. Photo courtesy Gordie Howe International Bridge

    Windsor, Ontario — On July 1, 2021,the Gordie Howe International Bridge team marked 1,000 days since the start of construction and are celebrating the determination, commitment and hard work of staff, contractors, labourers and suppliers contributing to the progress achieved on all four components of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

    Progress over the past 1,000 days notably includes near completion of all design work; earthworks, utility work, the start of building construction and the completion of the Perimeter Access Road at the Canadian Port of Entry (POE); earthworks and utility work at the US POE; demolition and start of reconstruction of three road bridges as part of the Michigan Interchange; and completion of the tower foundations and the start of construction of the bridge towers.

    “Reaching the mark of 1,000 days of construction gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we have been and what we have accomplished but also look ahead,” said Bryce Phillips, the CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. “As I see the tower legs now rising from the ground I think back to standing at that same location at the start of construction and I am filled with the same feelings of inspiration and drive, feelings that are shared by all of us who have the privilege of working on this great project.”

    Construction activities are undertaken while limiting any potential adverse effects on the natural environment, cultural resources, and neighboring residents and businesses. As well, a robust health and safety regime is followed to ensure workers are safe on the job site.

    On June 25, Bridging North America (BNA) and their subcontractors celebrated 3 million hours of work without a lost time injury. A lost time injury, also known as an LTI, is an important key safety indicator for any construction project. This is in addition to the safety precautions put in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

    “It is awe-inspiring to watch this project take shape and further enhance one of the longest binational trade relationships in history,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “I am committed to creating jobs by rebuilding Michigan’s vital transportation network, and the Gordie Howe International Bridge dovetails nicely with that goal. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is demonstrating on this project like so many others across the state why they are leaders in project management and oversight. As we mark this milestone, I thank MDOT employees and our Canadian partners for their ongoing collaboration on this important economic advancement.”

    Over the past two and a half years, more than 145 local business in Windsor-Essex and Detroit have been engaged by BNA and more than 3,900 workers, 46 per cent of which are local, have been oriented to the project. The coming years are expected to be among the busiest times of construction on the project.

    Some quick facts about the project:

    • Official construction of the $5.7 billion (CDN) Gordie Howe International Bridge project began on October 5, 2018.
    • The Gordie Howe International Bridge project includes the construction of a six-lane, cable- stayed design bridge with a clear span of 853 metres (0.53 miles) and a total length of approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles). It also includes new Canadian and US Ports of Entry and an interchange in Michigan connecting Interstate 75.
    • Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America continue to work toward a 2024 opening date.
    • In addition to construction, the project team has made significant progress on the delivery of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan and sustainability activities.

    “Bridging North America takes great pride in the work and safety record that has been accomplished over the past one thousand days of construction,” said Michael Hatchell, CEO, Bridging North America. “As the project components continue to go up, it further ignites the excitement on the team for being part of this once-in-a-generation mega project. BNA looks forward to continuing our momentum.”