Gordie Howe International Bridge enters next stage of tower construction

March 9, 2022
The design-build team will complete the final 262 ft of the tower over the remainder of 2022

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project team will soon begin work on the final portion of the bridge tower—the pylon head—that will connect Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, Michigan.

The project team says the tower legs—or lower pylon—have reached their full height of 460 ft. The design-build team under Bridging North America will complete the final 262 ft of the tower over the remainder of 2022.

According to the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, the towers have been under construction since 2019. Each inverted Y-shaped bridge tower is made of cast-in-place reinforced concrete and has been built in sequential manner through ‘lifts’ or tower leg segments of approximately 15.3 ft tall to achieve their aesthetic design and their desired functionality.

“It is an exciting time as the towers—arguably the most visible aspect of construction to date—move into the next and final build phase," Bryce Phillips, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority CEO, said in a statement. "With the towers currently standing at over two-thirds of their final 220 metres/722 ft height, they represent the significant progress the project team has been able to achieve.”

The process to transition from the lower pylon to the pylon head involves modifications to the jump form systems and concrete pours to construct the upper cross beam that will merge the tower legs into a single structure. This work is anticipated to be completed in the spring.

Once the transition work is complete, construction will begin on the pylon head. Critical to the cable-stayed design, anchor boxes within the pylon head will house the cables that will connect the towers to the bridge and decks, according to the project team.

Together, the bridge towers and cable system are being constructed to support nearly 34 million lb of weight. Once completed, the full weight of just one tower will be approximately 66 million lb. 

The full Gordie Howe International Bridge project is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.


SOURCE: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority | Bridging North America