Gordie Howe International Bridge Breaks Ground

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Police Chief James Craig, and United States Ambassabor to Canada Kelly Craft were among the officials who participated in the groundbreaking.

Alex McLenon


Michigan and Canadian officials were on hand at the ground-breaking of the site of the future U.S. Port of Entry for the Gordie Howe International Bridge.  Now crews are digging in on $150 million worth of pre-construction activities on the Detroit side of the new span.

With more than $106 billion worth of bilateral trade flowing between Windsor and Detroit every year, it’s the busiest commercial land crossing between the United States and Canada.  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says that only having one international bridge presents a threat to economic security.

“If something went wrong, if it had to close it would be economically devastating to all of us,” Snyder says.  “That’s one of the reasons you’re seeing me advocate so much now for another lock at the Soo.  Relying on one is not a good answer when you’re talking about the livelihood of millions of people.”

The project will also include funding to hire and train local workers to construct the span.  Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi says the bridge project will create immediate jobs for Americans and Canadians alike.

“There has been quite a bit of ground work done on the Canadian side,” Sohi says, “and now breaking ground on the American side and the selection of the preferred proponent (Bridging North America).  Ya know it has been a work in progress for a long time but we have reached a milestone that is so critical for getting this international crossing built.”

Pre-construction work on the U.S. Port of Entry site will include design work, geotechnical exploration, and preparations to I-75.  Full construction is expected to begin in September, when project officials could finalize a deal with Bridging North America contractors.

While relations between Canada and the United States have been contentious of late, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says that is not the case with the international bridge project.

“This project has been talked about for decades, and there are good people that had their heart behind it for decades,” he says, “and I have to acknowledge and say thank you to the country of Canada for actually having the common sense to continue to pursue this even when we did dumb things in Michigan.  Because ultimately what it came down to in many respects is they’ve been fabulous partners.”

Canada will provide all of the funding for the new span.  When it’s all said and done, the Gordie Howe International Bridge should be 6 lanes wide and have a total length of 1.5 miles.


  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.