On-Site Magazine

Making a connection over the Detroit River

By Adam Freill   

Bridges Construction Infrastructure

Final steps to connect the Gordie Howe International Bridge deck between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit are underway.

With just the width of an NHL rink to go, excitement is building for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project team as they begin the final steps to connect the bridge deck over the Detroit River. With 26 metres (85 feet) remaining, it is anticipated that the two sides will connect at the end of June.

The next four-to-six weeks will see a multi-step process followed, leading up to the bridge deck connection. Crews have one more 15-metre (49-foot) segment to install on the U.S. side before work starts on the final segment, known as the midspan closure. Once connected, the bridge deck spanning the distance between the two iconic towers will measure 853 metres (0.53 miles), making it the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America and the tenth longest in the world. It will also be the longest composite steel and concrete bridge deck for any cable-stayed bridge in the world.

“Achieving the bridge deck connection is monumental in the progress on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project,” stated Charl van Niekerk, CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. “This new bridge is the physical representation of the international cooperation that exists between the neighbouring communities in Windsor and Detroit, throughout Ontario and Michigan, and across North America. After years of planning and construction, we remain on course to open the bridge in fall 2025, and, with that, create new opportunities for economic growth and prosperity.”


“Bridging North America is proud of the dedicated engineers and skilled trades people whose unwavering commitment to safety and excellence has propelled us closer to completing the bridge deck of the Gordie Howe International Bridge,” added David Henderson, CEO of Bridging North America. Their resilience and skill are the driving force behind the realization of this historic infrastructure project.”

Even though connection will give the appearance that the bridge is completed, there is still plenty of work remaining before the bridge opens in fall 2025. Crews will stress stay cables and install electrical, fire suppression and drainage systems, barriers, signage, lighting, deck paving, and pavement markings and complete the multi-use path.

“While work remains to complete the structure, it is appropriate that we celebrate connecting this bridge deck, a physical link between the state of Michigan and our most vital trading partner,” said Bradley Wieferich, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. “I cannot overstate the significance for the businesses and citizens on both sides of the border who rely on the timely movement of goods as well as for members of the MDOT team who have been working for decades to build relationships in Detroit neighborhoods and respond to residents’ concerns as this historic bridge becomes a reality.”

The Gordie Howe International Bridge features 216 stay cables, of which all but 10 have been installed. The remaining cables will be installed by mid-June.




Stories continue below