Detroit-Windsor Gordie Howe Bridge
Currently, there is one bridge and one tunnel connecting Detroit and Windsor over the Detroit River (which is part of the St Lawrence Seaway and connects Lake Erie with Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior) which is the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. The Ambassador Bridge was buit in 1929, followed by construction of the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel in 1930.
The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest crossing on the Canada–United States border, with nearly 25% of U.S.–Canada border crossings by trucks using the bridge. Since trucks are not allowed in teh tunnel, the Ambassador Bridge has had a monopoly on commerical traffic. Both the bridge and the road tunnel lack direct highway connections on the Canadian side, so there is plenty of room for improvement.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge (also known as the Detroit River International Crossing or the New International Trade Crossing) is a cable-stayed international bridge across the Detroit River, currently under construction. This new bridge, funded entirely by the Canadian government, will connect Interstate 75 in Michigan with Highway 401 in Ontario (via the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway extension of Highway 401).
Land acquisistion began in 2013, and in 2015 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the bridge would be known as the Gordie Howe International Bridge after Canadian ice hockey player Gordie Howe, who played 25 years with the Detroit Red Wings. In May 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against the Ambassador Bridge’s billionaire owner Moroun’s attempt to stop expropriations on the Michigan side of the river. This allowed construction of the U.S. plaza and road access to the bridge to begin.
The cable-stayed bridge design is by chief bridge architect of AECOM, Erik Behrens. It will have two “A”-shaped bridge towers (220 m / 720 ft high) built on the banks of the Detroit River, six lanes for automotive traffic, and a bicycle and walking path. It will be 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long. Its centre span of 853 m / 2,799 ft will be the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America.
The centre of the road deck will be 46 metres/150 feet above water to accommodate the Detroit River shipping. A the two towers, the road will be 42 metres/138 feet above water with a five per cent incline to the overland approaches to Michigan’s I-75 and Ontario’s 401.