Gordie Howe – Bridging the Detroit River

Bridging North America

Nov 24, 2022

By Roger Renaud

I sail on Lake St Clair. Michigan is on one side of the lake, and Ontario is on the other. My sailboat is winter-stored 23 miles away, downstream on the Detroit River. Similarly, one side of the river is USA, and the other Ontario. Twice a year, for two years now, I have passed this site and watched this massive structure being built. The two giant pillars will be 220m tall when finished. The construction process is called a “continuous pour”, where a layer of concrete is not allowed to dry before the next is poured on top.

The Gordie Howe Bridge project includes a six-lane cable-stayed bridge, inspection plazas on both sides of the Bridging North Americaborder and new three-kilometre link in Detroit to the I-75 freeway. The agreement for the $5.7-billion bridge project between the Canadian government and project’s contractor — a consortium of companies known as ‘Bridging North America’. There is an opening date set at the end of 2024. Canada owns this bridge and is footing the cost to build it, and all the necessary infrastructure.

Bridging North AmericaPrime Minister Steven Harper declared the name of the bridge to be the “Gordie Howe Bridge” because the Windsor/Detroit area is, and has been, Gordie Howe territory.

More than 40,000 commuters, tourists, and truck drivers, carrying $323 million worth of goods pass between Windsor and Detroit every day, about one-quarter of Canadian trade with U.S.

Bridging North America 

The west end of the 401 highway that runs across Ontario, ends right at the entrance to the new bridge, making the trans-border crossing as efficient as possible. They say that throughout construction, river traffic will not be disrupted.



















Roger RenaudRoger Renaud
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Roger moved to Toronto for work in the early 70’s where he sailed a Hobie off Cherry Beach. Eventually joining ABYC, he has owned three different Thunderbirds over the years. The E-22, Laser 28, CC27, CC34, CC99, and Beneteau First 36.7’s were the other larger one-design fleets he sailed in, each for a few years dedicated to a program. He was also involved in a significant three-year program on a Nelson Marek 36, Maggie Kelly, out of RCYC.

Since returning to Windsor, he has been winning locally and in DYRA PHRF divisions.

Related Articles

Jeanneau Yachts 55

Throw away the box, this is some fresh thinking

Seemingly part sailboat and part spaceship, the new Jeanneau Yachts 55 just busted through the boundaries of traditional yacht design. I couldn’t take my eyes off the bubble hardtop that met me at the dock and I stepped aboard with trepidation. A few hours later, I was planning how to spend my not-yet-won lottery winnings.

Read More


Paving the Way to Cleaner Boating – How a Commitment to Reducing our Environmental Impact is Inspiring Cleaner Boating in Ontario

By Dave Rozycki

Over the past seven decades, Ontario’s marina industry has developed alongside some of Canada’s largest freshwater lakes. Boaters have been able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and create lasting memories on the water, with certain marinas dating back to the 1960s. As we reflect on this rich history, we can begin to see trends in how our footprint may have had an effect on the environment, in not-so-positive ways. However, by embracing innovative solutions and adopting sustainable practices, both marinas and boaters hold the key to preserving and enhancing the quality of our lakes and marine life for generations to come.

Read More