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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.
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.
In recognition of Sandwich’s role as a gateway community to Canada and in response to public consultation, WDBA is investing in improvements to Sandwich Street as part of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. These improvements are being delivered in addition to the initiatives to be undertaken as part of the Community Benefits Plan. This work is estimated to be a $12 million investment. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020 subject to consultation.
Here are just a few highlights of the work to be undertaken by Bridging North America along the Sandwich Street corridor:
Location: Approximately 3 km of Sandwich Street from the intersection of Sandwich Street and Ojibway Parkway to the Rosedale Avenue roundabout will see improvements to the current infrastructure
Design: Improvements to the Sandwich Street Corridor design will align with the Sandwich Town Community Improvement Plan, Sandwich Heritage Conservation District Plan and Sandwich Town Urban Design Guidelines.
Road improvements: The Sandwich Street Corridor will be fully re-paved in accordance with municipal standards. All commercial and residential driveway approaches within the municipal right of-way will also be replaced.
Streetscaping: Attractive streetscaping such as planters, benches, garbage receptacles, etc. will be considered for incorporation into the Sandwich Street Corridor improvements.
Accessibility: All sidewalks within the Sandwich Street Corridor will be replaced and will meet accessibility standards.
Intersection improvements: Bump outs will be incorporated at some intersections to enhance pedestrian safety when crossing the roadway. Some intersections within the designated truck route section will also see enhancements to accommodate local truck movements.
Functionality for the commercial and passenger users of the bridge and entering the POEs is also a critical aspect of project design.
Significant attention is being given to ensuring the bridge meets and exceeds the needs of commercial users and that the project includes features that will contribute to the efficient and timely movement of drivers through the facility and toward their destinations. WDBA will integrate design elements to make it easier for trucks to cross such as: dedicated truck lanes on bridge and in the POEs; driver-friendly road lighting; safety design accommodations such as the ability to deal with truck breakdowns in a timely fashion with minimum impact on traffic flow; and an onsite weather monitoring station allowing for advanced notification of unfavorable conditions.
Tolling will include manual, automatic and electronic lanes. It is anticipated that E-manifest programs and other trusted traveller and trader programs will be in place on both the Canadian and US POEs to help make for an efficient crossing. The bridge and POEs will be equipped with “smart” technology. WDBA anticipates the use of intelligent video to monitor traffic and provide enhanced security features. A system with automated incident detection capabilities plus lane control and traveller information systems could be used to help ensure safe passage.
Here are just a few design and technology highlights:
- Demand-driven dedicated lanes
- Roadway lighting meeting MTO and MDOT standards
- Onsite weather monitoring station
- Travel Time Detection Systems for Border Wait Time
- ITS intelligent video will capture unauthorized movement near trucks
- Video feeds for traffic monitoring
- Trucking companies geofencing / supply chain security programs
- Traffic Surveillance System
- Lane Control and Traveller Information Systems