95% of property acquired for Gordie Howe International Bridge

Updated May 7, 2018
Gordie Howe International Bridge customs and toll plaza
Screen capture of the Gordie Howe Bridge customs and toll plaza along the Detroit River in Windsor.Screen capture of the Gordie Howe Bridge customs and toll plaza along the Detroit River in Windsor.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) reports that, as of April 1, nearly 95 percent of the property needed for building the Gordie Howe International Bridge has been acquired by the Michigan Department of Transportation, meaning construction is still on track to begin in 2018, The Detroit News reports.

“We’re aware there have been litigation and lawsuits that happen from time to time,” Mark Butler, communications director for WDBA, told the news agency. “Any major project like this are going to have ups and downs. We will have all the parcels we need by September.”

More than $350 million is being spent on preparatory work in Canada and the United States, including relocating electric and gas lines, replacing and building new sewer crossings, and clearing 4,000 trees. Plus, there’s the undetermined cost of clearing land in the Delray neighborhood in southwest Detroit. The authority won’t have a time line for final demolitions until after a contractor is chosen in September.

The updates came as more than 100 community members gathered Tuesday in Windsor to learn about plans for the next six months for the $2.1 billion project. Canada is supplying Michigan’s $550 million share of the $2.1 billion bridge project, which will be repaid through tolls.

Heather Grondin, WDBA vice president of communications, told the news agency that Michigan wouldn’t revenue from the tolls until after the bridge was paid for, and that steel for the bridge will be made in the United States and Canada. She added that the U.S. will have 36 toll booths on its side of the six-lane bridge and Canada will have 22.