Public-Private Partnership (P3) Procurement Process

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) is running a rigorous and fair procurement process to select a private-sector partner with the skills, experiences and resources necessary to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The
procurement process is made of two main stages – the Request for Qualifications and the Request for Proposals – and it is overseen by an independent fairness monitor.

Stage 1: Request for Qualifications (RFQ) - Completed January 20, 2016

The RFQ was issued on July 20, 2015. The purpose of the RFQ is to pre-qualify teams to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. Six teams representing international and North American companies responded to the RFQ. The RFQ Responses were evaluated on the respondents’ demonstrated experience and qualifications to deliver and finance large and complex infrastructure projects. All six Responses underwent rigorous,
objective, consensus-based evaluations and were considered to be qualified. The fairness monitor concluded that the RFQ evaluation, conducted by both public- and private-sector experts, was fair, open and transparent. On January 20,
2016, the three highest scoring teams were announced. Only teams short-listed from the RFQ process (which are now known as Proponents) are invited to respond to the Request for Proposals.

Stage 2: Request for Proposals (RFP) – Started November 10, 2016

At 4,000 pages, the RFP is perhaps the single most important document that WDBA will deliver. The comprehensive document, written by WDBA and subject-matter experts over many hundreds of hours, sets out the conditions and
specifications required to undertake the project. It is issued to the three Proponents selected through the RFQ stage who will submit binding technical and financial proposals, including a fixed price and schedule. The RFP submissions will be
rigorously evaluated and a Preferred Proponent will be selected. Subject to reaching Financial Close and to appropriate approvals, this team will become WDBA’s private-sector partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Gordie
Howe International Bridge project. It is anticipated that the RFP stage will take 18 months to complete and it includes a number of key steps:

  • RFP Release – The RFP sets out the conditions and specifications required to undertake the project.
  • RFP Open Period – The open period is the time during which the Proponents prepare their proposals and engage with WDBA through Commercially Confidential Meetings where they have the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarification and gather additional information to assist them in the preparation of their bid documents. WDBA will work closely with the Proponents over this period ensuring that the Proponents have a clear understanding of the expectations and requirements for the project.
  • RFP Close – This is the deadline by which all proposals must be submitted.
  • RFP Evaluation - The proposals will be rigorously evaluated by both public- and private-sector experts. The successful team will become the Preferred Proponent.
  • Financial Close – After the Preferred Proponent is identified and approvals are obtained, WDBA and the Preferred Proponent will negotiate a final contract. Once finalized, both parties will be legally bound and obliged to their
    respective commitments. A Project Agreement will be finalized by this point that outlines criteria which govern the construction, operation and maintenance of the bridge and the Canadian and US project components.

Throughout the RFP stage, WDBA will continue the works begun in 2015 to prepare the Canadian and US Port of Entry sites for future construction. Stay up-to-date at

For more information about Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and the Gordie Howe International Bridge project visit Follow us on Twitter at, like us on Facebook at and connect with us on LinkedIn at



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