The Gordie Howe Bridge – From the River

Gordie Bridge

It is a saga that begins with this insight: the single most important piece of infrastructure between the U.S. and Canada is the majestic Ambassador Bridge, suspended a half-kilometre over the Detroit River.

June 7, 2023

By Roger Renaud 

It is a saga that begins with this insight: the single most important piece of infrastructure between the U.S. and Canada is the majestic Ambassador Bridge, suspended a half-kilometre over the Detroit River. More than a quarter of the $700-billion annual trade between our two nations crosses here—between 8,000 and 10,000 trucks every day. 

Today cruising along the Detroit River, you can see the progress of the Gordie Howe Bridge project as deck continues to be expanded and the cable stays are being installed. 

Gordie BridgeThe project includes a six-lane cable-stayed bridge, inspection plazas on both sides of the border and new three-kilometre direct link in Detroit to the I-75 freeway from the Hwy 401. 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. 

Gordie Bridge

gordie bridge 4 700

PM Steven Harper declared the name of the bridge to be the “Gordie Howe Bridge” because the Windsor/Detroit area is and will be forever, Gordie Howe territory. Canada owns this bridge and is footing the cost to build it, and all the necessary infrastructure, on both sides of the border.

Aside from the actual bridge itself, there is a tremendous amount of construction taking place across the 53-hectar – 130-acre site, on the Canadian side. All of the drainage, electrical, plumbing, and sewage infrastructure, is being put in place to support the 22 primary inspection lanes, the 16 toll stations, and the 133,880 sq. ft of building space.

The west end of the 401 highway that runs across Ontario, ends right at the entrance to the new bridge.  

Gordie Bridge


















the typical truck traffic over the Ambassador Bridge

Roger RenaudThis is the busiest border crossing in North America. 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.
They say that throughout construction, river traffic will not be disrupted.

Roger Renaud is a regular contributor to Sailing in Canada based in southwestern Ontario.




Week of May 22, 2023
Construction Activities – Canada
Canadian Port of Entry (POE)

• Main Building: Continued framing, mesh installs and drywall on first, second and third floors. Continued block wall installation in south end. Continued forming and rebar installation in south tower. Completed full roof on Canadian Food Inspection Agency space.
• Primary Inspection Lane Canopy: Continued gutter framing and soffit sub-framing. Commenced Lane Control Sign framing installation.
• Primary Inspection Lane Pavilion: Continued installation of crash blocks in lanes. Foundation walls and piers were completed and cured. Area scrubbed in preparation for structural steel arrival.
• Large Scale Imaging Building: Continued concrete walls for electrical and mechanical rooms.
• Tolling Building: Continued stud framing inside the building. Continued parapet framing.
Canadian Bridge site
• Rebar stitch pours are ongoing and rebar work continues.
• Installation on the deck continues.
• Approach and back span activities are ongoing.
• Stay cable installation work continues.


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