Ontario's record-breaking cable-stayed bridge making huge strides at US border (VIDEO)
Motorists will soon have a record-breaking new way to travel between Canada and the United States as a massive infrastructure project accelerates between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge — named for the Canadian-born Hall-of-Fame hockey player and Detroit Red Wings legend — is a feat of engineering and cooperation between the Canadian and US governments, and will redirect traffic away from existing overcrowded crossings upstream over and below the Detroit River.
Once complete, the bridge will span 2.5 kilometres over the river, anchored by monolithic 140-metre-tall concrete support towers equal in height to a 40-storey condo.
It will also break the record for the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, with its clear span of 853 metres absolutely shattering the record currently held by the Port Mann Bridge in BC, which spans 470 metres over the Fraser River.
The bridge’s six-lane road deck has been gradually taking shape over the past several months, and installation began earlier this year on the cables that will allow the central span to take shape over the river.
New drone flyover footage captured by the bridge’s construction team highlights the ongoing process of cable installation and offers a glimpse into how the first of these massive cables extend from the towers above to support the road deck below.
#ConstructionUpdate 📽️ Check out this NEW flyover drone footage of the #GordieHoweBridge Canadian bridge site 🇨🇦 : https://t.co/jnKl5gHxh8 pic.twitter.com/wNus5BQSFw
— Gordie Howe International Bridge (@GordieHoweBrg) April 19, 2023
Over the course of this process, a total of 216 stay cables will be installed to support the bridge’s span across the river in a process that takes two-to-five days per cable.
Crews begin by lifting white weather-resistant, high-density polyethylene plastic pipes up to the road deck, which are welded together before individual cable strands are inserted in a highly technical and precise process.
Each of the bridge’s 216 cables is made up of between 38 and 122 steel strands.
The bridge is currently projected to enter service in 2025, closing a missing link in the busy highway trucking route between Michigan and Ontario and relieving the congested crossings upstream.
It was for this very reason that the project faced stiff resistance during planning.
The late owner of the gridlocked Ambassador Bridge, billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun (1927-2020), fought the new crossing until the very end, fearing that it would siphon revenue from his monopoly on international cross-river travel.