Sep 11, 2023 - News

Detroit by Drone: Gordie Howe International Bridge flyover

The Gordie Howe International Bridge under construction.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge pictured on Sept. 8. Photos: Samuel Robinson/Axios

What will be North America's longest cable-stayed bridge is being constructed by workers from around the globe near Zug Island and on the other side of the Detroit River in Windsor.

Why it matters: The $5.7 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge is making steady progress. It'll add one more route to connect the countries — the Windsor Tunnel and the Moroun-family owned Ambassador Bridge are currently Metro Detroit and Windsor's only ways to cross the border.

  • The bridge's pylons now stand tall and are visible from across the city as the deck continues to be built out.
A closer view of the bridge deck
A closer view of the bridge deck.
Zooming out
Zooming out on the rest of the site near Zug Island.

Between the lines: The bridge has a unique design. Its towers are being built on land and not on the river, which helps crews work without the presence of barges.

  • But that means workers are using trailers to carry all the different elements to the top of the construction, project manager Antonio Rios said in an update video.
  • Workers are using a temporary elevator to access the deck.
  • A 440-ton crane hauls elements to build the deck itself 50 feet at a time before encroaching further out onto the river.

Of note: The bridge will be fitted with six lanes for vehicles and one for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • The bridge deck is being built on a 5% inclination. The only completely horizontal part of the deck is in the center of the river to provide a 150 feet high clearance for ships to pass under.

What's next: The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority set a December 2024 date to open the bridge to the public, but it's unclear whether the project remains on track.

Worthy of your time: The Windsor Star's report on how a dog named Demon is keeping pesky birds and pests away from the bridge's construction site on the other side of the border.


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