On-Site Magazine

6 consortiums answer Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority RFQ


Bridges Concrete Construction Financing Infrastructure LEED P3s Risk Management Roads

Canadian, American, International teams all submit

Canadian, American and International teams have all answered the Request for Qualifications to build the Windsor-Detroit Bridge and customs plazas using a P3 model.

In all, six teams made submissions by the Oct. 9 deadline to quality for the two-part procurement process, according to a release from the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA). The composition of the submission teams has not been released by WDBA.

“The private sector has shown a vibrant interest in working on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, between this RFP, the responses we received to our recent RFP for early works, as well as the recently-held Industry Days,” said Mark McQueen, Chairman of the WDBA Board of Directors.

“Although site preparation has already begun for the eventual construction of the new Canadian Customs plaza, businesses and travelers on both sides of the border understand that the completion of the new bridge is dependent upon the successful conclusion of the pending RFP process.”


“We are very pleased to have reached yet another significant milestone in the delivery of the Gordie Howe International Bridge,” said Michael Cautillo, President and Chief Executive Officer for the WDBA

Next steps in procurement process to select a private-sector proponent partner include an evaluation of the RFQ responses by a team comprised of WDBA officials, partner organizations and experts overseen by an independent fairness monitor. The three highest scoring qualified respondents will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposals, which will be released by the end of this calendar year.

Project Components

There are the four components of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project – the Canadian port of entry, the bridge, the US port of entry and the interchange to I-75.

The Bridge

The project includes a six-lane bridge, providing three Canada-bound lanes and three US-bound lanes over the Detroit River. Two bridge types were considered under the DRIC study – cable stayed and suspension. The bridge will have a clear span of 850 metres/2788 feet across the Detroit River with no piers in the water. Two approach bridges will connect the main span to the Canadian port of entry and the US port of entry. The crossing will be approximately 2.5 kilometres/1.5 miles in length.

The Canadian Port of Entry

The Canadian port of entry will be situated on an approximately 53 hectare/130 acre site that will include such features as  Canadian inbound border inspection facilities for both passenger and commercial vehicles, Canadian outbound inspection facilities, tolling operation for both the US-bound and Canada-bound traffic, and maintenance facilities. Once constructed, this port will be that largest along the Canada-US border and one of the largest anywhere in North America.

The US Port of Entry

The US port of entry will be situated on an approximate 60 hectare/145 acres site that will include such features as  US inbound border inspection facilities for both passenger and commercial vehicles, US outbound inspection facilities, and commercial exit control booths.

Michigan Interchange

The Michigan Interchange will consist of the primary connecting ramps to and from the US port of entry and associated local road improvements required to fit the new ramps into the interstate system. The Michigan Interchange includes four new crossing road bridges, five new pedestrian bridges, four long bridges crossing the railway and connecting to I-75 to the US plaza and service roads and local road improvements.

Early Works

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) has selected Amico Infrastructures Inc. of Oldcastle, Ontario as its contractor to complete the Early Works on the site of the Canadian Port of Entry. The Early Works activities will prepare the Canadian Port of Entry site for the work to be undertaken by the final selected private-sector partner.

Included in this portion of the work is:

  • construction of a perimeter access road (PAR)
  • utility relocation
  • the placement of fill, grading and drainage.

Perimeter Access Road (PAR)

Once construction of a new four kilometre, two-lane PAR is complete, existing sections of Sandwich Street and Broadway Street located within the footprint of the Canadian Port of Entry will need to be closed. The new PAR will be built around the site of the Canadian Port of Entry. The road will provide public access to private and public properties adjacent to the Canadian Port of Entry. The new road will also allow for the access for emergency services such as fire and police. The new PAR will be constructed to City of Windsor standards. Ultimately, ownership of the new road will be transferred to the City and it will become a municipal roadway.

Utility Relocation

Various existing utilities including water lines, sanitary and stormwater systems, natural gas lines, and electricity transmission lines are located within the footprint of the Canadian Port of Entry. Several of these utility lines are obsolete and will need to be abandoned. Many more will need to be relocated so as to ensure that service to existing customers is not disrupted. The relocated utilities will be moved to the right-of-way along the PAR and in designated utility corridors throughout the Canadian Port of Entry. There will be no interruption of utility services during the relocation.

Plaza Fill, Grading and Drainage

The new Canadian Port of Entry will include several buildings, roadways and parking lots as well as bridge ramps and bridge piers. All of these elements will require a solid base on which they can be built. To ensure that the site is prepared for additional loading, various geotechnical soil improvement techniques will be utilized. These techniques include the installation of wick drains and fill surcharge which will accelerate the settlement of the underlying soils. The site will also be graded to accommodate a comprehensive drainage plan.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) is a not-for-profit Canadian Crown corporation created to manage the procurement process for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan through a public-private partnership (P3). The WDBA is also responsible for project oversight and will set and collect all tolls. For more information on the WDBA visit www.wdbridge.com and follow the WDBA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wdbabridge.


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