Gordie Howe bridge US$523m over budget and nearly a year late

The Gordie Howe International Bridge seen from the Canadian side in July 2023. Photo: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

The Gordie Howe International Bridge, linking the US and Canada, is running 10 months late and CAN$700 million (US$523 million) over budget.

That’s according to the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), the body owned by the Government of Canada that is overseeing the project.

The Gordie Howe will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and is being built by Bridging North America, a consortium of Aecom, Dragados, Fluor and ACS.

Work started in October 2018 and the bridge was originally due to open in November 2024 at a cost of CAN$5.7 billion (US$4.3 billion).

Now the WDBA says that the bridge will open in September 2025, while the final budget has increased to CAN$6.4 billion (US$4.8 billion).

It put the delays down to disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement it said, “The disruptions were even more prevalent for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project given the differing applicable restrictions in the US and Canada, combined with the ramping up of construction activities in early 2020.

“Like most public-private partnerships (P3) contracts, the contract between Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and Bridging North America (BNA) provides for the schedule and cost impacts of certain risks to be shared. As a result, WDBA and BNA have agreed to amend the contract to include the new September 2025 construction completion date, new measures to ensure this date is achieved, and an updated overall contract value of $6.4 billion (CDN).”

David Henderson, interim CEO, Bridging North America, said, “Throughout the pandemic, BNA made progress on the project by keeping people working while also keeping them safe. We were able to do so by resequencing construction activities in a manner that aligned with provincial and state health and safety orders and directives and our own rigorous safety protocols. Through the great progress made in 2023 and collaboration with WDBA, MDOT, and all our project partners, we are happy to have minimized the impacts of the pandemic.”

Charl van Niekerk, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, added, “After a three-year pandemic and considering the size and complexity of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, our project team is pleased that the impact to the construction schedule is limited to only 10 months beyond the original contracted completion date and that we could agree on a reasonable adjustment to the contract value.”


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