The final steps in the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge towers are underway as the new international crossing begins to take shape.
According to officials, the last concrete pour for the sloped architectural heads at the top of the pylon head is now complete and the U.S. tower has reached its full height of 722 feet.
Now, crews will begin removing the jump form system, which is the blue square around the tower featuring artwork from a Detroit artist. Additionally, the last steps will begin on the Canadian bridge tower in September.
Work began on the towers in 2019 with underground foundational work and the tower footings were complete in December 2020. Further, Lower pylon construction finished in March 2022, and the jump forms encased the towers so workers had an enclosed environment to work in while each tower rose. It will take about four weeks to remove the jump form system.
Work continues on the rest of the bridge as well, and officials say 2023 has had significant achievements for the project. That includes the first bridge deck segments over the Detroit River being placed, the first stay cables installed and the fourth and final road bridge reconstructed on the Michigan interchange.
Why the Gordie Howe Bridge towers are important
The towers are an integral part of the bridge and they house the anchor boxes that attach stay cables from the towers to the bridge and road decks. They provide the support system for the entire weight of the bridge.
“We are excited to share the U.S. tower has reached its final height and the Canadian tower is nearing completion. Furthermore, these majestic towers have been the most visible and inspiring signs of progress representing a major step forward in construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge,” Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority CEO Charl van Niekerk said in a statement.