Gordie Howe Bridge

Hundreds of firms hope to get Gordie Howe Bridge work
By John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press

Hundreds of construction, engineering, and supplier firms have expressed interest in helping build the planned Gordie Howe International Bridge, packing introductory meetings this week in Windsor and Detroit.

Sessions held Wednesday in Windsor drew more than 200 firms who hope to build the Canadian half of the span. Meetings scheduled for today at the Atheneum Hotel in Detroit's Greektown district have drawn many more to learn about opportunities building the U.S. half of the project. Mark Butler, a spokesman for the project, said more than 400 companies have registered for today's events.

The bridge and its connections to expressways and the related customs plazas on either side of the border will cost more than $2 billion. The current schedule calls for the Gordie Howe International Bridge to open to traffic in 2020.

Over the next couple of years, the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority, a Canadian entity formed to oversee the project, will hire a lead team to design and build the bridge. That consortium of companies chosen as overall lead will in turn be hiring multiple subcontractors to perform various aspects of the work. The lead team will also be responsible for toll collection, staffing and maintenance for 30 years.

Thousands of workers are expected to be employed on the project.

Contact John Gallalgher: 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @jgallagherfreep.