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'A lot of high fives' as the Gordie Howe bridge connects, making it an international crossing


The Gordie Howe Bridge is officially an international crossing.

The milestone was reached Monday when temporary beams were placed between the two bridge decks stemming from Canada and the United States, connecting the bridge in the middle, making this arguably the biggest moment thus far in construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

“This is this is one of the most physically visible milestones in the project,” said David Henderson, the CEO of Bridging North America, the contractor building the bridge.

The bridge deck over the Detroit River is now separated by a mere 11 metres.

“It's a backyard practice rink now,” said Henderson, noting the gap is down to the final section before a continuous deck is installed.

As the bridge is technically now an international crossing, Canada Border Services Agency and United States Customs and Border Protection officials are now on the ground on site, clearing workers to do their jobs.

“Our team that's working on the bridge and that international zone has to go through the checkpoints where they're showing their documents just like you and I present at the border crossings that are in place now,” Henderson said.

The looming CBSA Strike was casting a slight pall on the progress, but now that a tentative agreement is in place, that threat of any work disruption may be a moot point.

“We are keeping an eye on it. We hope that the negotiations will be successful,” said Henderson. “We don't anticipate any impact for our workers at this stage.”

Henderson said there’s a collective sigh of relief as the two sides come together, which is a sight roughly 20 years in the making.

“There's a lot of excitement, a lot of high fives going on each and every day now as we get as we get closer to the permanent beam installation,” he said.

This week, temporary beams will be replaced with a permanent beam and within a matter of weeks, the bridge deck will connect.

“We'll actually move those units on top of the bridge deck and then we'll actually be able to deliver some of the remaining materials and equipment over the bridge,” Henderson said.

About a year of work remains on the bridge and the surrounding ports of entry, but the finish line is now on the horizon.

“It's been a long time coming and we look forward to the completion in the upcoming year.”

Once the deck is complete and barring any setbacks, work on the $6.4 billion bridge will resume, with a completion date scheduled late summer or early Fall, 2025. Top Stories

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