After more than seven years of delays, construction has begun on the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Detroit. The $4.5-billion project will connect the city’s Delray district to Windsor, Ontario, creating a new option for travel between the United States and Canada across the Detroit River at a location 3.2 km (2 mi) downstream from the current Ambassador Bridge.
“The new Gordie Howe International Bridge is one of the largest construction projects in Detroit and will bring hundreds of new jobs to the region,” said Rob Chiles, president of Detroit-based Alta Equipment–Construction. “From skilled labor to material suppliers and support personnel, this project represents a massive undertaking—and a massive opportunity for Michigan.”
During construction, it is expected that more than 100 pieces of heavy equipment will be required to facilitate the work. Chiles and others from Alta Equipment, including company spokesperson and former Detroit Red Wing Mickey Redmond, were invited to attend the official groundbreaking ceremony, along with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, former Governor Jim Blanchard, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft, and Amarjeet Sohi, minister of natural resources in Canada.
“This is an exciting day for Detroit, Windsor, Michigan, Ontario, the United States, and Canada,” said Snyder. “After more than seven years of hard work, today we broke ground on what will be a thriving legacy named for a legend. Gordie Howe represented the best of Canada and the United States.”
In September, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, the agency in Canada with project oversight, is expected to award the construction contract and hold an official groundbreaking at the Windsor terminus. Major construction is expected to begin at this time.
Construction is expected to take four to five years to complete, with the opening of the bridge slated for 2022 or 2023.