The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) today announced it has signed a fixed-price contract valued at $5.7 billion with Bridging North America to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.
All contractual steps have been completed, and construction can begin. The bridge is expected to be in service by the end of 2024.
“We made a commitment to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, and today is the start of a new chapter for Windsor and Detroit, as well as Canada and the U.S.,” says Dwight Duncan, chair of the WDBA board of directors.
“This vital corridor will enhance trade opportunities with tremendous growth possibilities on both sides of the river. The project will be built to the highest standards of engineering, incorporating sustainability, aesthetics, and functionality. It is a shining example of collaboration between our two nations.”
The contract includes the design-build phase as well as the operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation phase. Bridging North America will receive progress payments during construction and a substantial completion payment at the end of construction. They will also receive monthly payments for operations and maintenance over the 30-year operating, or concession, period.
The performance-based contract is structured to ensure the contractor has the appropriate incentives to meet or exceed long-term objectives of safety, reliability, and capacity WDBA has set for the project.
Bridging North America has presented a 74-month construction schedule to complete the four components of the project. It has been meeting with local companies, organizations, and unions to discuss partnership opportunities, and representatives have also met with educational institutions for skilled trade workers. They anticipate the creation of 2,500 direct, on-site jobs, including direct hires, subcontractors, and seconded individuals.
The new bridge will improve border processing and highway-to-highway international connectivity at the busiest trade corridor between Canada and the U.S. It will provide six lanes to meet anticipated traffic growth and feature a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, a LEED Silver rating for buildings, and a Community Benefits Plan. The cable-stayed bridge is 1.5 miles long.
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge will be a stunning addition to Windsor and Detroit’s shared skyline,” says Bryce Phillips, CEO of WDBA. “Its modern yet timeless design married with advanced technology represents the future of international border crossings. The staff at WDBA, along with our consultants and partners, are pleased to welcome Bridging North America to the Gordie Howe team, and we are proud to work together on this history-in-the-making infrastructure project.”
The WDBA is a nonprofit Canadian Crown corporation created to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project between Windsor and Detroit. It is responsible for overseeing and managing the construction and operation of the new crossing.