The new Gordie Howe Bridge is set to cross the Detroit River between Ontario and Michigan, connecting communities on both sides of the US-Canada border.
Designed and delivered by AECOM and its Bridging North America consortium partners, the 2.5km bridge with its main span of 853m meters will be the longest cable-stayed bridge on the continent and one of the largest in the world.
Named after hockey legend Gordie Howe, who clocked up 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings but was a proud Canadian, the bridge’s name is inspired by the concept of the link between the two countries.
The Windsor-Detroit trade corridor is the busiest commercial land crossing on the US-Canada border and the new six-lane bridge will provide new border crossing capacity to meet increased long-term international trade and travel demand.
The bridge is designed as a gentle curve, anchored at each bank by graceful towers. The two towers with their imposing height at more than 200m, and fan-shaped arrangement of cables will create majestic portals that launch the bridge deck across the river.
The distance between the two pylons, the main span, is 853m, and the side spans are each 320m. The deck floats high above the water in a smooth arch and transitions seamlessly into the side spans at either end.
The side spans are completed by the 12 backstay cables and a pair of ancillary piers that transfer the loads directly into the ground.
“The aesthetic appeal of this cable-stayed bridge lays in the extreme slenderness of the deck which in combination with thin stays provides an impression of gravity-defying lightness and transparency,” said Erik Behrens, AECOM’s chief bridge architect.
“The patterns of the stay cables create ever-changing moire effects when viewed from different angles.
“At night, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will become a landmark light sculpture and transformational work of public art, stimulating a culture of collaboration and cross-cultural exchange in the region.”
The Bridging North America consortium will also be responsible for building the Canadian Port of Entry, U.S. Port of Entry, and Michigan’s I-75 interchange connecting to the bridge.
The winning consortium, known as Bridging North America includes Dragados, Aecon, Fluor, AECOM and other partners.
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