Today, the Gordie Howe International Bridge project team announced a new completion plan and opening timeline for the bridge and confirmed they expect the first vehicles to travel across it in the fall of next year.
The project, which was originally scheduled for completion by November 2024, experienced disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the project team hard as they balanced the different restrictions in the U.S. and Canada.
The new timeline for completion increases the cost of the project from $5.7 billion to $6.4 billion. It also ensures that the bridge will be completed without compromising quality or the health and safety of workers.
“After a three-year pandemic and considering the size and complexity of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, our project team is pleased that the impact to the construction schedule is limited to only 10 months beyond the original contracted completion date and that we could agree on a reasonable adjustment to the contract value,” Charl van Niekerk, the CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), said in a press release.
“With safety as our top priority, we will continue to work together to deliver this much needed infrastructure to the thousands of eager travelers ready to cross North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge.”
Due to the construction extension, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority has also extended the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan, which helps support the communities being impacted by the project by one year.
Under the plan, $3 million will be divided equally between the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. portion is to be expended to residents and business owners in the Delray/Southwest Detroit area over the 2025-26 fiscal year.
“We appreciate the ongoing commitment of our partners at WDBA and BNA (Bridging North America) to keeping this vital project on track during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic that presented many obstacles on both sides of the border, Bradley Wieferich, the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, said in a press release.
“We are especially pleased that along with a revised timeline comes a pledge for further community benefits in Southwest Detroit and BNA’s pledge to add cycling lanes to streets on the Detroit side. We saw a great deal of work completed in 2023 and look forward to opening this great bridge in 2025.”