Pace of construction on target for Gordie Howe Bridge despite pandemic

·2 min read
 (Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority - image credit)
(Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority - image credit)

Construction on the Gordie Howe Bridge is on schedule as officials with the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) say 2024 is the target year of completion.

Despite the pandemic and public health measures like physical distancing, the project has seen no significant delay.

Nor have there been major costs attributed to the pandemic as the bill for the project remains at $5.7 billion, with additional expense to be covered by private sector partners.

The design portion of the bridge is set to wrap up fully this year and is currently estimated to be 90 percent complete.

Stephanie Campeau is the Director of Stakeholder Relations with WDBA and says that since January, both towers on the Canada and U.S sites of construction are now being built at the same pace, after a delay on the U.S. side.

"We hear a lot from people saying I don't see anything happening and the towers actually had to go down to about 130 feet into bedrock," she said.

"There were nine drilled shafts that went down that deep and each one was filled with concrete and rebar to create the foundation for those towers, so they popped out of the ground last fall, which was really exciting."

Community impact

As part of the construction of the bridge, Sandwich Street will be part of a rejuvenation project that will cost upwards of $12 million. It will span from the Old Sandwich Town BIA to the sewage waste treatment plant.

Consultation with communities occurred between 2015 and 2018, and Campeau says the planned reconstruction is important in understanding the changing role of Sandwich Street.

"We heard a lot about the importance of Sandwich Street and the fact that it really is a gateway into Windsor now."

The reconstruction will include repaving, more sidewalks and bike lanes and general beautification improvements.

On each side of the border, a community investment fund of $50,000 has also been set up to distribute to community organizations and non-profit groups in Sandwich West Windsor. This year, more than 30 groups applied for funding and the recipients will be announced in July.

When completed the bridge will be one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world.