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VIDEO: Final steps begin to connect Gordie Howe International Bridge with only 85 feet between sides

Posted at 1:27 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 17:22:07-04

(WXYZ) — The Gordie Howe International Bridge team is beginning the final steps to connecting the bridge deck on the U.S. and Canadian sides.

Officials for the bridge said there is only 85 feet between the two sides – the same width as an NHL rink – and it's expected that they will be connected at the end of June.

See video of work being done on the bridge below

Gordie Howe International Bridge now just 85 feet from connection

According to officials, over the next four-to-six weeks, people will see a multi-step process leading up to the bridge deck connection.

Crews have to install one more segment on the US side that is 49 feet long before work starts on the final segment, which is known as the mid-span closure.

 “Achieving the bridge deck connection is monumental in the progress on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. 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," Windsor-Detroit Bridge authority CEO Charl van Niekerk said in a statement.

See Chopper 7 video from last week

Gordie Howe International Bridge nears connection over the Detroit River

“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. Their resilience and skill are the driving force behind the realization of this historic infrastructure project," Bridging North America CEO David Henderson added in a statement.

Once connected, the bridge will be .53 miles long between the two towers, the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America and the 10th longest in the world.

While it will appear the bridge will be complete, officials said there is plenty of work remaining before the bridge opens in the fall of 2025. Other work includes crews stressing cables, installing electrical, fire suppression and drainage systems, as well as barriers, signage, lighting, deck paving and more.

Timelapse of construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge

Timelapse of construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge

The bridge features 216 stay cables, and all but 10 have been installed, with the rest to be be installed by mid June.

Once the bridge is connected, it will be treated as an international crossing by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Both agencies will have a presence on the bridge sites once it's completed.

Officials also say progress is continuing on the Canadian and U.S. Ports of Entry, as well as the Michigan interchange. That work includes:

  • interior work on all buildings within the Canadian POE including window fixtures, heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing and flooring 
  • interior work on more than half of the buildings at the US POE  
  • placement of all the girders on the ramps over I-75 leading to the US POE.