Ontario's record-breaking cross-border bridge taking shape at impressive pace
Motorists will soon have a new way to bypass the gridlocked Canada-United States border crossings between Detroit and Windsor.
Construction is rapidly advancing for a new record-breaking $5.7 billion highway bridge spanning the Detroit River, one that will forever change cross-border travel by closing a missing link in a busy international trade route.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge — named for the Canadian-born hockey legend who played for the Detroit Red Wings — will soon bridge the longstanding gap between the busy trucking corridors of Highway 401 in Canada and I-75 in the U.S.
It will also break a record for the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America. A clear span of 853 metres will almost double the existing record held by B.C.'s Port Mann Bridge, spanning 470 metres over the Fraser River.
Construction has been ongoing since 2018 in a coordinated effort on both sides of the border, and the massive structure is currently taking shape at an impressive pace.
Enormous 220-metre-tall concrete support towers — roughly equivalent to the height of the TD Bank Tower in Toronto's Financial District — will support the bridge's 2.5-kilometre route over the river.
These towers were completed in 2022, and crews have since begun installing the support cables for the road deck.
📷 We’ve posted a new gallery of the US Bridge Site on the #GordieHoweBridge project website. 🇺🇸 Check it out: https://t.co/TDE8Bf5yIn pic.twitter.com/VPSQGaGhbz— Gordie Howe International Bridge (@GordieHoweBrg) May 11, 2023
These stay cables suspend a six-lane road deck that is now gradually extending over the water. A total of 216 of these cables will eventually be installed to support the bridge in a process that takes between two and five days per cable.
Construction of the bridge itself is just the most visible aspect of the massive megaproject. An entire network of highway and border infrastructure, including toll booths and ports of entry, is under construction to handle the flow of cross-border traffic.
📷 #PictureThis 16 toll booths located on the Canadian Port of Entry will collect tolls from commercial and passenger vehicles using the #GordieHoweBridge. Work on the toll booths is well underway with the canopy currently under construction. Check out the completed look below. pic.twitter.com/gP5t5yLRXy— Gordie Howe International Bridge (@GordieHoweBrg) May 3, 2023
Much progress has been made on the Canadian Port of Entry, including tollbooths, where motorists will go through customs and be charged for their trips.
#ConstructionUpdate 📽️ Check out this NEW flyover drone footage of the #GordieHoweBridge Canadian Port of Entry 🇨🇦: https://t.co/sfGr8CSsln pic.twitter.com/AE0MAnn6Xm— Gordie Howe International Bridge (@GordieHoweBrg) April 25, 2023
Similar work is ongoing for the U.S. Port of Entry just across the river.
#ConstructionUpdate 📽️ Check out this NEW flyover drone footage of the #GordieHoweBridge US Port of Entry 🇺🇸: https://t.co/IkUN4ZpHwO pic.twitter.com/SBK8qiwQDg— Gordie Howe International Bridge (@GordieHoweBrg) May 8, 2023
Supporting highway infrastructure is being built to connect the bridge to the busy routes it will directly link. A recent aerial flyover of new freeway infrastructure on the Michigan side offers a glimpse into the bridge-related construction underway on both sides of the river.
#ConstructionUpdate 📽️ Check out this NEW flyover drone footage of the #GordieHoweBridge work on the Michigan Interchange 🇺🇸 : https://t.co/Itz5J2pTsC pic.twitter.com/ywTmC4rR5u— Gordie Howe International Bridge (@GordieHoweBrg) April 27, 2023
The bridge is expected to be completed and in operation by 2025. Its opening will relieve a long-existing bottleneck at Detroit-Windsor border crossings by redirecting truck traffic from the existing Ambassador Bridge.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge's uptake of truck traffic and relief of the iconic but often-clogged suspension bridge upriver will, in turn, also relieve traffic at the busy Detroit-Windsor tunnel.
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