WDBA announces public bridge meetings

Todd Shearon
By Todd Shearon April 17, 2018 12:45

A 50-metre-tall (160 foot) water tower has been brought crashing back to earth thanks to careful preparation and gravity. The tower is on a property which will eventually accommodate the ramps connecting I-75 to the US Port of Entry. Photo courtesy of wdbridge.com.

By Todd Shearon

It is time to bridge the information gap.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) announced two public information meetings to be held on both sides of the border.

The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in Windsor from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Mackenzie Hall’s Court Auditorium (3277 Sandwich Street).

The the second will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 2018, in Detroit from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at El Bosque (6705 W. Lafayette Blvd.).

Presentations will take place at 3:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. each day to share current information about the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

The WDBA’s director of communication Mark Butler says all aspects of the project will be discussed and roughly 40 display booths will have architectural drawings and posters so people can see how the ports of entry will look once it is in operation.

Subject matter specialists will be on hand to answer questions about the environment, traffic, construction and property acquisitions which are taking place on the Detroit side of the border.

“This is an opportunity for us to go out and be open and transparent with the public and stakeholders,” said Butler. (They will find out) what’s going to be happening now and what’s going to be happening as we start construction.”

The WDBA is currently seeking a private sector partner to help them build the bridge.

The three companies submitting proposals include operation, finance and maintenance.

The WDBA will announce the team who will be building the bridge in June and will be followed by contract signings and announcements of designs, costs and construction dates in September.

Butler says the pillars of the new bridge (which will be on land)  will likely rival the height of the Renaissance Center but it is still undetermined whether the future “iconic” bridge will be a cable stay design or a suspension bridge, but any cable stay design would make it the largest in North America.

The WDBA has possession or dates of possession for about 90 per cent of the property acquisitions on the Detroit side.

As the properties are being purchased, any buildings on them are being demolished as well as a scrub, debris and tree removal process.

“We have always included in our thinking and planning that there will be a need for two bridges between Windsor and Detroit,” said Butler. “This is arguably the busiest commercial land border crossing between Canada and the U.S. and in North America.”

Drone videos and photos of the Gordie Howe bridge’s construction site can be seen on the WDBA’s website (wdbridge.com) and Facebook page.

Todd Shearon
By Todd Shearon April 17, 2018 12:45

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