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By the numbers: Gordie Howe International Bridge


Just 26 metres is all that remains of bridge deck construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor and Detroit.

By the end of June 2024, after six years of construction, the massive structure will connect in the middle.The bridge deck nears completion on the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Windsor, Ont., on May 14, 2024. (Rich Garton/CTV News Windsor)

“This is a milestone year when we do meet over the river and we have a unified bridge,” said David Henderson, the CEO of Bridging North America, the consortium of companies building the bridge.

When it opens in late summer or early fall of 2025, the span over the Detroit River will measure 853 metres long, making it the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America — and the 10th longest in the world.

The full length of the bridge from end to end is 2.5 kilometres and the height of the pylons is 220 metres, as tall as the renaissance centre.

The bridge is 37.5 metres wide, enough space for three lanes of traffic in each direction and a multi-use trail for pedestrians.

“So we're doubling the lane capacity in itself,” said Henderson, noting the existing Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel have a combined three lanes in each direction.

“It's going to allow for more efficiency at the tunnel more efficiency of the Ambassador Bridge and efficiency here because we're able to accommodate the capacity that's going through right now,” said Heather Grondin, the director or relations for the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, which is overseeing the project.

But there’s also a paved shoulder on each side, meaning capacity on the Gordie could be four lanes in each direction in the future, if needed.

To date 206 massive stay-cables which help support the weight of the bridge have been installed, with only 10 left to attach to the final section.

Before the Herb Gray Parkway was built from Hwy. 401 to the eventual entrance to the Gordie Howe Bridge port of entry, there were 14 traffic lights between the 401 and the Ambassador Bridge.

Under the new configuration, there are no traffic lights from the eastern reaches of the 401 to the international crossing.

“So that the flow will be continuous,” Henderson notes, only interrupted only by border checkpoints on each side.

There will be 24 primary inspection lanes in Canada and 36 in America.

The $6.4 billion bridge has been under construction for more than 2,000 days.

According to bridge officials, 11,000 people have taken mandatory training and 13 million hours of work is completed.

“We've had a lot of people with a lot of very important skills be part of the project. And you can see the end result,” said Henderson.

The bridge was built for many reasons, including redundancy, security and infrastructure longevity.

Once open, it’s believed the average travel time to cross the border will be cut by 11-18 minutes.

“Now does 11 minutes sound like a lot?” asked Grondin.

“It does when you are just in time delivery and have to deliver something to a factory across the border.” Top Stories

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