With its cost rising up to $700 million, the Gordie Howe International Bridge project development has been delayed by ten months. The project’s team recently provided an update on the new commissioning dates.
They are optimistic that construction work on the bridge will be concluded by September 2025, and they will see vehicles travel across the Gordie Howe International Bridge for the first time.
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The Gordie Howe International Bridge project‘s initial cost
The bridge, with a previous budget of $5.7 billion, had initially been scheduled for a November 2024 completion date. Its commissioning was expected to take place in the same year.
According to the team, unprecedented disruptions came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They negatively affected the project’s progress.
With the U.S. and Canada having different applicable restrictions, combined with the ramping up of construction undertakings, which took place at the beginning of 2020, the disruptions had worse impacts on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, CEO, Charl van Niekerk, explained that following the three-year pandemic, and after taking into account the size as well as the complexity of the project, the team was pleased to say that the setbacks suffered by the project’s execution schedule was limited to only 10 months past the initial completion date.
He added that they could agree to make reasonable adjustments to the value of the contract.
The CEO claimed that they will continue to collaborate to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. He also emphasized that safety was their main priority.
The schedule as well as certain risks associated with the project are shared. This is according to the public private partnerships (P3) contract existing between Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and Bridging North America (BNA).
The revised completion date for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project
Consequently, there has been another agreement between WDBA and BNA for the contract amendment. The agreement also includes the new completion date which will be September 2025. Furthermore, there are measures that ensure the deadline is met with the updated contract value that rose up to $ 6.4 billion.
The new timeline is said to be in consideration of the health and also the safety of the workers. This is according to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project team.
WDBA set aside a budget for a year’s extension period for the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan. The entity realized that the lengthy period of construction could have impacts on the communities hosting the project.
Emergency and executive orders
Hundreds of emergency and executive orders that are relevant to the project have resulted in schedule as well as cost relief. These have contemplated the agreement on the project between WDBA and BNA. The emergency and executive orders were issued by various governments like Ontario’s Government and the Michigan state in the beginning of March 2020.
The team claims that it made huge progress on the construction of the bridge and road deck, stay cable installation in 2022 and 2023. These activities helped drive the construction schedule.
The bridge deck is expected to be connected over the Detroit River in 2024. It is also expected that the final 216 cables will be installed and the conclusion of the POE agency buildings, along with the I-75 ramps concrete.
The project team will conclude with the operating processes. It will also carry out tests after construction work is completed. This would ensure readiness of the facilities for vehicles crossing the border in the beginning of 2025.