As part of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, Early Works activities will prepare the Canadian Port of Entry (POE) site for the work to be undertaken by the private-sector partner to be identified through a separate procurement process.

There are three components to Early Works:

  • construction of a perimeter access road (PAR)
  • utility relocation
  • the placement of fill, grading and drainage.

Drainage of both ground water and stormwater is an integral part of the Early Works activities. Stormwater management helps prevent flooding and maintains the ecological integrity, quality and quantity of our water resources. Many different sources of pollution that would otherwise enter our local waterways is reduced or prevented by proper stormwater management.

The construction of stormwater management ponds, and municipal drain enhancements will help manage stormwater runoff at the Canadian POE and adjacent properties.

Stormwater Management Ponds

A stormwater management pond is an artificial pond designed to collect and hold stormwater.

During a large rain storm, flooding may occur when there may is too much stormwater for storm sewers to handle. Stormwater management ponds collect and store surplus rain water from the perimeter access road until it can be released slowly. These ponds are also designed to collect solids such as sand and gravel and not allow this material to be discharged into the Detroit River.

Early Works activities include the construction of two stormwater management ponds which will hold and manage stormwater run-off from PAR. The largest pond measures 175 metres by 30 metres and two metres deep. It is designed to hold up to 7.5 million litres of stormwater - equivalent to three Olympic-sized swimming pools. The second pond is slightly smaller and will hold 5.5 million litres of stormwater. Over four kilometres of storm sewers will empty into these two ponds.

Municipal Drains

Municipal drains can be either ditches or closed systems such as pipes or tiles buried in the ground. They are a vital component of the stormwater management system.

At the Canadian POE two municipal drains, the Healy Drain and Broadway Drain, will be impacted. The majority of the Healy Drain lies within the POE footprint and will be filled and abandoned. The Broadway Drain, located to the west of the Canadian POE along Broadway Street, will be reconstructed along its entire length.

The Broadway Drain will empty stormwater runoff collected from the Canadian POE into the Detroit River. Changes to the Broadway Drain will require approval from the City of Windsor under the Drainage Act. The portion of the Broadway Drain closest to the Detroit River will be re-constructed to provide fish and wildlife habitat.

Learn more about the Early Works activities at

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