Windsor, Ontario • Having delivered the busiest year of construction to date, the Gordie Howe International Bridge project team is able to confirm a new completion and opening timeline. Construction completion is planned for September 2025 with the first vehicles expected to travel across the bridge that fall.
Originally, the $5.7 billion (CDN) project was scheduled for completion in November 2024 with opening anticipated by the end of that year. However, the project, like many others, experienced unprecedented disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The disruptions were even more prevalent for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project given the differing applicable restrictions in the US and Canada, combined with the ramping up of construction activities in early 2020.
Like most public-private partnerships (P3) contracts, the contract between Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and Bridging North America (BNA) provides for the schedule and cost impacts of certain risks to be shared. As a result, WDBA and BNA have agreed to amend the contract to include the new September 2025 construction completion date, new measures to ensure this date is achieved, and an updated overall contract value of $6.4 billion (CDN).
Further, this new timeline is achievable without compromising quality and most importantly, the health and safety of our workers. The great progress made in 2023 and the ability to mitigate and manage the challenges the team has faced is a testament to the dedication of the workers and collaboration between WDBA, BNA, the State of Michigan and all project delivery partners.
Recognizing that an extended construction period impacts the project host communities, WDBA has budgeted for a one-year extension of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan. With $3 million (CDN) to be divided equally between Canada and the US and expended over the 2025-2026 fiscal year, residents and business owners in Sandwich/west Windsor and Delray/Southwest Detroit will see positive outcomes from further regional investments. Additional details on the approach to allocating this funding will be shared later in 2024.
“After a three-year pandemic and considering the size and complexity of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, our project team is pleased that the impact to the construction schedule is limited to only 10 months beyond the original contracted completion date and that we could agree on a reasonable adjustment to the contract value. With safety as our top priority, we will continue to work together to deliver this much needed infrastructure to the thousands of eager travellers ready to cross North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge.”
- Charl van Niekerk, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority
“Throughout the pandemic, BNA made progress on the project by keeping people working while also keeping them safe. We were able to do so by resequencing construction activities in a manner that aligned with provincial and state health and safety orders and directives and our own rigorous safety protocols. Through the great progress made in 2023 and collaboration with WDBA, MDOT, and all our project partners, we are happy to have minimized the impacts of the pandemic.”
- David Henderson, Interim CEO, Bridging North America
“We appreciate the ongoing commitment of our partners at WDBA and BNA to keeping this vital project on track during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic that presented many obstacles on both sides of the border. We are especially pleased that along with a revised timeline comes a pledge for further community benefits in Southwest Detroit and BNA’s pledge to add cycling lanes to streets on the Detroit side. We saw a great deal of work completed in 2023 and look forward to opening this great bridge in 2025.”
- Bradley C. Wieferich, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation
- Beginning in March 2020 and over the remainder of the pandemic, various governments, including the Governments of Ontario and the State of Michigan, issued hundreds of emergency and executive orders that applied to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project resulting in schedule and cost relief that is contemplated in the Project Agreement between WDBA and BNA.
- Over 2022 and 2023, the project team was able to make significant progress on bridge and road deck construction, stay cable installation and port of entry facilities which helped drive the overall construction schedule.
- In 2024, the public can expect to see the bridge deck connect over the Detroit River and the last of the 216 stay cables installed, as well as the completion of the POE agency buildings and the concrete for the I-75 ramps.
- Following construction completion, the project team will finalize operating processes and testing to fully prepare the facilities for traffic crossing the border starting in fall 2025.
ABOUT WINDSOR-DETROIT BRIDGE AUTHORITY
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) is a not-for-profit Canadian Crown corporation created to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project between Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI through a public-private partnership (P3). WDBA is responsible for overseeing and managing the construction and operation of the new crossing. For more information on WDBA visit GordieHoweInternationalBridge.com and follow the project on Facebook.
ABOUT BRIDGING NORTH AMERICA
Bridging North America (BNA) became the private-sector partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge project in September 2018. BNA is comprised of some of the most recognized leaders in the construction and infrastructure industry which includes North American and international companies. BNA partners have significant experience carrying out major infrastructure projects such as the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway in Windsor, Ontario; New Champlain Bridge Corridor in Montreal, Quebec; Autoroute 30 in Montreal, Quebec; Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto, Ontario; Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) in Montreal, Quebec; Automated People Mover at LAX Airport, California; Harbor Bridge, Corpus Christi, Texas; Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, California.
ABOUT MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for Michigan's 9,669-mile state highway system, comprised of all M, I, and US routes. MDOT also administers other state and federal transportation programs for aviation, intercity passenger services, rail freight, local public transit services, the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF), and others. MDOT works directly with WDBA on the US components of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.
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Gordie Howe International Bridge
Media Relations Team