Officials are celebrating another milestone in the Gordie Howe International Bridge project with the start of the Michigan advance construction.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America, along with the State of Michigan and the Government of Canada, were on hand Tuesday at the Michigan site.

Advance construction activities include design work to advance foundation construction of the main bridge, test piles, preparation and the start of siphon work at I-75 and geotechnical exploration.

“Michigan advance construction sends a loud and clear message that we are at the ready and the Gordie Howe International project is moving ahead,” says Dwight Duncan, Chair of WDBA Board of Directors.

The crossing will be a six-lane, 853 metre cable-stayed span, being touted as the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

Bridging North America was announced as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the bridge. More details about the project will be released after the financial close is reached by the end of September.

Nuria Haltiwanger, chairwoman and CEO of ACS Infrastructure in North America and president and CEO of Iridium, says Bridging North America is honoured to have been selected as the preferred proponent to build and maintain the project.

“Today’s groundbreaking celebration is the visible beginning of our long-term partnership with WDBA, and reinforces our commitment to collaborate with the governments of Canada, the United States and the State of Michigan,” says Haltiwanger.

“We look forward to continuing building upon this partnership, as we begin the construction phase of this landmark project.”

Amarjeet Sohi, Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder also participated in Tuesday’s event with Kelly Craft, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

"Today's milestone is an important step in the building of one of Canada's top infrastructure priorities,” said Sohi. “This project is also an important symbol of our deep friendship and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States.”

"This is an exciting day for Detroit, Windsor, Michigan, Ontario, the United States, and Canada,” added Snyder.