On-Site Magazine

A historic handshake on the Gordie Howe International Bridge

By Adam Freill   

Bridges Construction Infrastructure

With a handshake, the largest and most ambitious infrastructure project along the Canada-United States border is that much closer to completion.

American ironworker Casey Whitson (left) shakes hands with Canadian ironworker Jason Huggett on the spot of the first connection across the Detroit River for the Gordie Howe International Bridge. (Photo courtesy of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.)

A pair of Canadian and American ironworkers were the first to celebrate the connection of the Gordie Howe International Bridge as the final two edge girders were put in place on June 14.

Casey Whitson, a second-generation American ironworker from Michigan, and a member of Iron Workers Local 25, and Jason Huggett, a second-generation Canadian ironworker from Ontario who is a member of Iron Workers Local 700 shook hands to mark the point where the bridge has officially become an international crossing.

Although a connection has been made, there is still a substantial work yet to be done over the next year to get the bridge ready for vehicle traffic. Workers are installing more structural steel and the concrete precast panels for mid-span closure, with that portion of the connection anticipated to be complete by the end of June.

After that step, work will focus on such tasks as the re-stressing of stay cables, post-tensioning of the deck, installation of various systems, signage and lighting, as well as deck paving. A multi-use path will also be completed prior to the opening of the bridge, which is scheduled to happen in the fall of 2025. Once complete, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be the longest cable-stayed bridge span in North America.





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