Tuesday, May 28, 2024

COVID blamed for 10 month delay in Gordie Howe Bridge opening

September 2025 new completion date

The Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor and Detroit is now scheduled to open in September, 2025. The GHB was one of the last major projects approved by Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty before his death in 2014. “We’ll put up the cash. Canada will put up the cash,” Flaherty announced after a series of delays on the American side. He was utterly determined to see the project proceed. Photo: Gordie Howe International Bridge

Windsor, Ontario • The Gordie Howe International Bridge project team has announced a 10-month delay in the structure’s opening, with a new completion and opening timeline. Construction completion is planned for September 2025; the first vehicles are expected to travel across the bridge that fall.

Originally, the $5.7 billion (CDN) project was scheduled for completion in November 2024 with opening anticipated by the end of that year. However, the project, experienced disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The disruptions were even more prevalent for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, given the differing applicable restrictions in the US and Canada, which occurred just as construction activities were ramping up in early 2020.

The contract between Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and Bridging North America (BNA) provides for the schedule and cost impacts of certain risks to be shared. As a result, WDBA and BNA have agreed to amend the contract to include the new September 2025 construction completion date, new measures to ensure this date is achieved, and an updated overall contract value of $6.4 billion (CDN). 

This new timeline is achievable without compromising quality and most importantly, the health and safety of our workers. The great progress made in 2023 and the ability to mitigate and manage the challenges the team has faced is a testament to the dedication of the workers and collaboration between WDBA, BNA, the State of Michigan and all project delivery partners.  

Recognizing that an extended construction period impacts the project host communities, WDBA has budgeted for a one-year extension of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan. With $3 million (CDN) to be divided equally between Canada and the US and expended over the 2025-2026 fiscal year, residents and business owners in Sandwich/west Windsor and Delray/Southwest Detroit will see positive outcomes from further regional investments. Additional details on the approach to allocating this funding will be shared later in 2024.