Construction of the long-awaited new Windsor-Detroit border crossing bridge has been set back by a year because of the complex bidding process, meaning it likely will not be completed until 2023.
The three consortiums vying to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge were informed within the last week by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority that their detailed bids will not be required until next year. Final bids were to be submitted this fall and a contractor selected by the end of the year, with construction starting in the summer of 2018, according to the previous timetable. But specifications and requirements for the project have changed, delaying the selection of the contractor and start of construction.
Some of the new requirements are contained in a $55 million community benefits agreement reached earlier this year with the city of Detroit that includes job training, health monitoring and neighborhood improvements for the industrial community of Delray where the bridge will be located. Separated pedestrian and bike lanes were also recently added to the bridge design.
The process for the new requirements pushes the anticipated completion date back to early 2023, as it is estimated construction will take at least 42 months. The Howe bridge project includes the crossing, customs plazas and a new 2-km feeder road in Detroit to connect with the I-75 freeway.
The three bidding finalists will not be able to begin working on final designs and getting price estimates from subcontractors until late this year. It is unlikely those bids will not be submitted until the summer of 2018, and the bridge authority will need at least three to six months to assess them and make a decision.
Source: Windsor Star