The Gordie Howe International Bridge officially broke ground in October 2018. Since then, the only major piece of news about the project has been a new community benefits agreement negotiated between residents and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.
But that doesn’t mean that no progress has been made on the $5.7 billion, 1.5-mile international crossing includes that includes construction of Canadian and U.S. points of entry, the bridge itself, and a Michigan interchange.
Here’s all the latest news related to the massive project that has an estimated completion date of late 2024.
The bridge authority is asking residents to weigh in on their favorite of three designs for a Jefferson Barrier Wall.
This landscaped perimeter will be built outside the U.S. point of entry and run parallel to West Jefferson Avenue from Campbell to Green streets. In addition to an 8-foot high security wall, there will also be a multi-use path and landscaping with “native pollinator-positive plantings.”
The three wall designs are inspired by features at the nearby Fort Wayne. The first design has regular vertical stripes reminiscent of the embrasures found along the walls of the fort. The second has “sunset-hued” concrete with horizontal steel strips similar to aged brick. And the third uses precast concrete to create patterns that look like the fort’s star-like shape.
You can vote for your favorite design here through October 31 or attend a community presentation on Tuesday, October 29 from 4-7 p.m. at WDBA Southwest Detroit Community Office.
Bridge demolitions and road closures
Three bridges in southwest Detroit will soon be gone. In order to accommodate ramps on the Michigan Interchange connecting to the U.S. port of entry, bridges over I-75 on Springwells Street, Clark Street, and Livernois Avenue will be demolished.
The demolitions will require complete closure of I-75 from Springwells to Clark starting Friday, November 1 at approximately 11 p.m., with lanes will reopening by Monday, November 4 at 5 a.m. Drivers are recommended to take detours along the West Fisher Service Drive in either direction.
After I-75 reopens, the Springwells ramps will remain closed in both directions. By Spring 2022, all the bridges in this area will be demolished and the service drive rebuilt.
And the following streets have been permanently closed to construct the port of entry.
- Waterman Street between South Street and Norfolk Southern Railway
- Rademacher Street between South Street to Norfolk Southern Railway
- Reid Street between South Street to Hesse Street
- Crawford Street between South Street to Norfolk Southern Railway
- Livernois Avenue southbound between South Street to Norfolk Southern Railway
- Hesse Street between Rademacher Street to Reid Street
- South Street between Post Street to Dragoon Street
The other major piece of work currently taking place is the construction of 12 large, drilled shafts on both sides of the Detroit River. These 120-foot long pylons that weight over 143,300 pounds will be the main support structure for the bridge.
This work will continue through 2019.