Design and Technology

Building Elegance Through Aesthetics

WDBA recognizes the permanent influence the Gordie Howe International Bridge will have on Windsor’s and Detroit’s skyline and its role as a new gateway symbol for Canada and the United States.

Aesthetics have been considered for all aspects of the project.

Bridge: a modern expression of the bridge form, derived of modern design and construction techniques “clearly of its time”. It will be a unique and identifiable structure.

Landscaping: includes elements of continuity and variation creating a unified experience and expresses themes of the site location. Will build upon functional requirements to support safety and security.

Pedestrian space: private and public spaces provide an opportunity for a finer grained landscape with more colour and amenities.

Buildings: material palette of curtain wall, precast concrete panels, metal and composite. Will create clean lines, pleasing proportions and elegant simplicity that support the development of an open, transparent and welcoming facility.

Lighting: will create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing visual effect by night throughout the crossing. Lighting will be incorporated on the bridge, roadways, pedestrian walkways, architecture and landscape.

Canopies: the canopies create the primary architectural gesture for the Ports of Entry.

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In recognition of Southwest Detroit’s role as a gateway community to the US and in accordance with requirements set out in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, WDBA is investing in street improvements near the US Port of Entry.

Here are just a few highlights of the work to be undertaken by Bridging North America:

Pedestrian bridges: Five new pedestrian bridges will be constructed over I-75 and in some cases, over the service drives. Each bridge will align with any multi-use trails in the area. Access points include Beard, Waterman, Solvay, Junction and Lansing Streets. The pedestrian bridge identified through the 2008 Environmental Impact Statement at Morrell Street has been moved to Junction Street in response to extensive community consultation.

Decorative barriers: Decorative security fencing will be provided around the north, east and west perimeter of the US POE with irrigated landscaping to provide an additional buffer to the community. An aesthetic perimeter wall will be installed along Jefferson Avenue that complements neighbouring facilities. New decorative security fencing will also be installed along the south side of West Jefferson Avenue adjacent to Historic Fort Wayne that meeting State Historic Preservation Office review.

Fort Street Cycle track: A six-foot protected cycle track will be installed along both sides of Fort Street between Green and Junction Streets. The cycle tracks will be separated from traffic by a minimum three-foot raised buffer. Bicycle signals will also be required at intersections to separate vehicles

Trees: Deciduous shade trees will be planted along the parkway between the sidewalk and road every 25 feet between Springwells and Clark Streets. A similar treatment will be provided from the US POE to Interstate-75 crossings at Green, Campbell and Junction Streets, along Jefferson Avenue and along Fort Street between Green and Junction Streets.

Continuous accessible sidewalks: A continuous fully accessible sidewalk will be constructed along the City side of the Service Drive and between the Service Drive and I-75 main line to connect the entrance of each pedestrian bridge to the nearest intersection or to a signalized block crossing. Pedestrian countdown signals will be installed at all signalized intersections and mid-block crossings along the service drives.

Greenway: A greenway will be constructed to connect pedestrians and cyclists from the Gordie Howe International Bridge to the I-75 Freeway crossings at Green Street and the new pedestrian bridge to be installed at Junction Street. Street design will include safe transition points from off-road paths to on-street bike lanes with appropriate wayfinding to make the transitions easy for users.

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