Tuesday, May 28, 2024
April 2023 progress on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Photo: GHIB

2024 opening planned for Gordie Howe Bridge

The new Gordie Howe Bridge between Windsor and Detroit is expected to open at the end of 2024, and is using a “dual design” aspect.

“’Dual design’ means that it’s meeting the design specifications of both Canada and the US. If there’s ever a conflict between the design specifications, we go with the higher of the two specifications,” Heather Grondin told a packed room at the Hamilton Waterfront Centre on May 4th.  

Grondin is the vice president of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and was invited to address the the Hamilton Transportation Club (HTC), which has resumed meeting after a two year COVID hiatus.

She says one of the most commonly asked questions she receives is “Why is a new bridge needed?”

“The Gordie Howe International Bridge is located between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, where there is already an existing bridge; a tunnel; there’s a rail tunnel; and there’s ferry. So why create another bridge between between these two cities?” she asks rhetorically.

“Because 25 per cent of land trade between Canada and the US goes across that border.”

The Gordie Howe Bridge will provide redundancy and pricing options for commercial vehicles, in addition to improved order processing facilities, future current and future capacity, and system connectivity, she explained.

“The best aspect of the bridge for transport drivers is its direct connection to I-75 heading South,” said Philip Fletcher, President of the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO), who said “The presentation on the Gordie Howe bridge was engrossing.”

Highlights of Grondin’s Gordie Howe Bridge presentation included:

  • The bridge will have six lanes three in each direction.
  • It is being built for a 125-year lifespan.
  • The term “the bridge,” actually refers to four things: the actual bridge; a Canadian port of entry, a US port of entry and the connection into the Michigan interstate.
  • Direct Connection into the highway 401 has already been constructed that was led by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
  • The overall project is a $5.7 billion undertaking includes construction and then a 30-year maintenance contract with Virgin North America.
  • The contractual opening date is the end of 2024.
  • The Gordie Howe International Bridge is “P3 Project:” Public-Private Partnership, a joint effort by government and the private sector.
Heather Grondin speaks at the Hamilton Transportation Club May 3, 2023 Photo: Bruce Outridge, Lead Pedal Media