Gordie Howe Bridge takes huge step forward
Rich Garton, CTV Windsor
Published Thursday, November 10, 2016 5:44AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 10, 2016 5:49PM EST
The proposed Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor and Detroit is one step closer to getting built.
The Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority will release the much anticipated request for proposals today, CTV News has learned.
Three consortia were short-listed through a previous request for qualifications process. The three Proponents, Bridging North America, CanAm Gateway Partners and Legacy Link Partners, were pre-qualified through the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) stage.
The three groups will now have 12 months to prepare their final bids to design and build the Gordie Howe International Bridge, according to a spokesperson with the authority.
Once proposals are submitted, the WDBA will have six months to review the bids and select the successful proponent.
"We look forward to hearing from the Proponents over the coming months to learn how they intend to deliver this project – a new true game-changer not just for the region, but also for Ontario and Michigan and indeed for Canada and the US,” said Interim Bridge Authority Chair Dwight Duncan in a press release.
The process to issue the RFP has been delayed for nearly 11 months. Duncan says they hit roadblocks acquiring property stateside. At a luncheon a month ago, Duncan said "problem" properties still exist, but noted the risks are manageable and indicated the RFP would be coming out shortly.
Both Duncan, bridge authority CEO Michael Cautillo and Canadian Ambassador to the US David McNaughton have recently trumpeted the Liberal government's commitment to the massive infrastructure project.
The nearly year-long delay in issuing the RFP has been flagged as a concern by local politicians, as well as former WDBA chair Mark McQueen. He publicly questioned whether the bridge could be built by its original timeline of 2020, or fall anywhere close to the projected price tag of $2 billion. Duncan won't commit to a definitive timeline or cost.
Assuming no more delays, the successful proponent as well as the design, completion date and cost should be known within 18 months, or by Spring of 2018.