Building the largest Ports of Entry along the Canada - US Border


The legs of the massive towers currently under construction on both sides of the border are not the only visible signs of progress at the Gordie Howe International Bridge project sites.  
Construction is also well underway on three buildings at the Canadian Port of Entry (POE) in Windsor and work has begun on the first building at the US POE in Southwest Detroit.

US Port of Entry (POE)

Workers in the US have poured concrete footings for the 7618 square metre/82,000 square foot commercial building, the first of 13 structures that will be located at the US POE, which will be one of the largest US ports along the Canada-US border. 

Construction of the main building will follow, with crews already beginning survey and layout activities.

 

 

Pictured: Construction of the commercial building at the US Port of Entry 

Canadian Port of Entry (POE)

At the Canadian POE, construction work has started on three of the 11 structures including the maintenance, main building and secondary inspection buildings. 
The 3,569 square metre/38,416 square foot maintenance building was the first structure to be started. Crews will use 155 metric tonnes/171 tons of structural steel, over 159,000 kilograms/350,535 pounds of reinforcing steel and over a thousand cubic metres/35,314 cubic feet of cast-in-place concrete for this building alone.

 

 

Pictured: The maintenance building at the Canadian POE

Layout, excavation, subgrade inspections and building formwork continues to take place for the construction of the 12,914 square metre/ 139,000 square foot main building, the largest building on the Canadian POE. It will take 1,326 metric tonnes/1462 tons of structural steel, nearly 744,000 kilograms/1.6 millions pounds of reinforcing steel and almost 4,800 cubic metres/169,510 cubic feet of cast-in-place concrete to finish.

Workers are currently focused on waterproofing, backfill activities and underground utility work for the 5,600 square foot secondary inspection building. Once competed, workers will have used 392 metric tonnes/432 tons of structural steel, over 86,000 kilograms/189,598 pounds of reinforcing steel and 408 cubic metres/14,408 of cast-in-place concrete.

 

 

Pictured: Construction of the main and secondary inspection buildings at the Canadian POE

Before any building construction began at the POEs began, crews had to prepare the ground to provide a solid base for the structures.

To date, more than 1.174 million metric tonnes/2.6 billion pounds of engineered fill and surcharge material have been placed at the Canadian and US POEs. Crews have also installed more than 300,000 wick drains to create a solid base to expedite the construction of facilities. Wick drains dramatically reduce settlement time from years to a matter of months and allows construction to proceed on schedule. 

Utility work, backfilling and soil surcharge continue in different sections of the to assist with drainage and compression prior to the start of road construction within the POEs, which is anticipated to take start in 2022. Construction of the POE buildings and facilities will continue over the next few years.

The Canadian POE will be the largest among land border crossings between Canada and the US and one of the largest anywhere in North America. 

The Ports of Entry in Canada and the US are just two of the four components of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. Work is well underway on the towers for the six-lane, 2.5 kilometre/1.5 mile bridge span that will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America. Work also continues on the Michigan Interchange which will connect I-75 to the US POE. 

By the Numbers 

  Canadian Port of Entry United States Port of Entry
Total size 53 hectares/130 acres 68 hectares/167 acres
Total landscaped area 10 hectares/24 acres 12 hectares/30 acres
Total building space 12,438 square metres/133,881 square feet 30,318 square metres/326,335 square feet

 


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