Bridging North America consortium to start work on cable-stay Gordie Howe Bridge

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Unveiling the cable stay design for the new Gordie Howe International Bridge

The new Gordie Howe International Bridge will be constructed by the Bridging North America (BNA) international consortium, the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) has announced. The cable-stay bridge will be constructed under a 30 year concession, with full-scale construction to start later this year.

Officials at a media event at the University of Windsor said a detailed timeline and total cost will not be announced until September.

BNA won the competition originally against five other teams, narrowed down to two competitors in a follow-up process.

Consortium participants include: ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Flour Canada Ltd., Aecon Concessions, a division of Aecon Construction Group Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc.; AECOM, Calos Fernandez Casado S.L./FHECOR Ingenieros Consultores, S.A., Moriyama and Teshima Architects, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, LLP, Dragados Canada Inc., Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc., Turner Construction Company, Aecon O&M, a division of Aecon Construction Group Inc., DBI Services, LLC, and URS Federal Services Inc., an AECOM company.

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Unveiling the Gordie Howe International Bridge design

Many of the businesses participating in the consortium also worked on the Herb Grey Parkway project. The parkway connects the bridge to Highway 401.

The bridge has been mired in controversy since its initial proposal, largely because the private owners of the existing Ambassador Bridge has fought it tooth and nail, in the courts and through political processes. Adding to the challenges, the Moroun family also won permission to “twin” the existing Ambassador Bridge structure, adding to capacity at a time when cross-border trade – the bridge’s economic foundation – is threatened by US president Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.

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The announcement of Bridging North America’s success at the University of Windsor

However, WDBA officials say the Gordie Howe bridge project has survived and won all of the key court challenges, and continues to have political support in Michigan.

“This is history in the making,” said WDBA chair Dwight Duncan at the announcement. “I’m proud to be part of it.”

BNA won over proposals from groups Legacy Link Partners and CanAm Gateway.
Earlier forecasts indicated a four year construction schedule, with cost estimates ranging from $2.1 billion to $4.5 billion.

Recently appointed WDBA chief executive officer Bryce Phillips said the 853 metre long brigade will be the longest of its type in North America, and the towers will be higher than the Detroit Renaissance Centre.

Federal infrastructure minister Amarjeet Sohi said the WDBA “has worked very hard over the last four years with their Canadian and American partners” to make the project possible. “Beyond any doubt, this project is now moving forward with a world-class team now chosen to deliver it, to the benefit of Canada-US trade and the residents of Windsor and Detroit who have for so long wanted to see this project become a reality.”

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