Chronology

2000

Cross Border Traffic Study commences

2001

Cross Border Traffic Study published

08

2000-2001 - Cross Border Traffic Study

2000-2001 - Cross Border Traffic Study

In response to industry and border stakeholder concerns that the existing Ontario – Michigan crossings would not support the anticipated increase in traffic, a study to collect origin-destination patterns of cross-border trips, was carried out in 2000 by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Transport Canada, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. The study included over 22,000 traveller surveys at four separate border crossings: the Ambassador Bridge, Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, Blue Water Bridge and the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge. This survey information supported the development of baseline information for the subsequent Planning Need and Feasibility Study and, ultimately, the creation of the Canada-U.S.-Ontario-Michigan Border Transportation Partnership. The study was published in August 2001.

Read More about 2000-2001 - Cross Border Traffic Study
Ontario-Michigan Border Crossing Traffic Study Cover
2002

Planning / Needs and Feasibility Study begins

2004

Planning / Needs and Feasibility Study finalized

2002-2004 - Planning Needs and Feasibility (P/NF) Study

2002-2004 - Planning Needs and Feasibility (P/NF) Study

The Planning Needs and Feasibility (PN/F) Study identifies a long-term strategy to meet the needs of the transportation network serving the border between Southeastern Michigan and Southwestern Ontario. The study was conducted by the governments of Canada, United States, Ontario and Michigan which formed a bi-national partnership with the purpose of improving the movement of people and goods across the Canada-U.S. border. The PN/F Study was initiated in 2002. Once completed, the technical working papers and reports developed over the study period were made available to government agencies and departments, municipalities, border stakeholders and the public for their comment and input. In 2004, the finalized PN/F Study, which recommended infrastructure projects to address border crossing deficiencies, was presented to the bi-national government partnership. The results of the study were then used to initiate formal environmental studies on both sides of the border which would ultimately lead to the recommendation of a new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.

Read More about 2002-2004 - Planning Needs and Feasibility (P/NF) Study
Planning / Needs and Feasibility Study Cover
2005

Environmental study process begins

2008

Environmental study concludes

2005-2008 - The environmental study process

2005-2008 - The environmental study process

This international transportation improvement project required approvals from governments on both sides of the border. A coordinated process that met the legislated requirements from governments on both sides of the border including the OEAA (Ontario Environmental Assessment Act) and the CEAA (Canadian Environmental Assessment Act) in Canada and the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) in the United States was developed. These separate pieces of legislation all require that the environmental studies be thorough, open, transparent and fully accessible to the public for scrutiny and evaluation. The study team worked with the public, communities, and interested groups on both sides of the border, to develop a solution that best meets future transportation needs, while minimizing community impacts. A key principle of this process is that all affected and interested parties are given the opportunity to participate and offer input throughout the study. As a result, the study team held over 300 consultation meetings seeking community and stakeholder input at key points during the study. Following four years of intensive study, in 2008, the partnership concluded its coordinated environmental study identifying the bridge and plaza locations on both sides of the border, the Ontario access road (now known as the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway), and the U.S. interchange connection as the technically and environmentally preferred alternative (TEPA).

Read More about 2005-2008 - The environmental study process
One of the 300 public consultations sessions
2009

Environmental studies accepted and first land purchase

2009 - Approval of the environmental studies in Canada and the United States

2009 - Approval of the environmental studies in Canada and the United States

Following four years of intensive study, in 2008, the partnership concluded its coordinated environmental study identifying the bridge and plaza locations on both sides of the border, the Ontario access road (now known as the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway), and the U.S. interchange connection as the technically and environmentally preferred alternative (TEPA). In 2009, the partnership received approvals under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA).  and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) On the U.S. side, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approving the U.S. portion of the new Detroit-Windsor border crossing system over the Detroit River.

Read More about 2009 - Approval of the environmental studies in Canada and the United States
Environmental Agency Logos
7/20

2009 - Land purchase for Canadian inspection plaza and Canada's portion of new bridge

2009 - Land purchase for Canadian inspection plaza and Canada's portion of new bridge

The new border crossing system between Windsor and Detroit became one step closer on July 20, 2009, with the announcement by the Government of Canada that it had purchased approximately 94 acres of land needed for the new Canadian inspection plaza and Canada’s portion of the six-lane bridge. The purchase, from the City of Windsor, included some public roadways and cost $34 million. This land purchase represents the largest single block of land needed to build a new inspection plaza and six-lane bridge. The Canadian inspection plaza is bounded by Broadway Street on the south side; Chappus Street on the north side; the Detroit River on the west side; and the Essex Terminal Railway line on the east side. The plaza itself will have a surface area of about 139 acres, making this inspection plaza one of the largest in North America.

Read More about 2009 - Land purchase for Canadian inspection plaza and Canada's portion of new bridge
Map of land purchased from City of Windsor for Canadian inspection plaza.
2010

Canada increases financial participation

04/29

2010 - Canada announces another step to fast-track the new Windsor-Detroit border crossing

2010 - Canada announces another step to fast-track the new Windsor-Detroit border crossing

On April 29, 2010, the Government of Canada announced that it will increase its financial participation to the project, as part of its commitment under Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Canada’s increased financial participation, up to a maximum of US $550 million, would be for project components in Michigan, and will be re-paid to Canada over time through the tolls generated on the new crossing. The funding commitment was yet another important step to accelerate the start of its construction of the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.

Read More about 2010 - Canada announces another step to fast-track the new Windsor-Detroit border crossing
Canadas Economic Action Plan
2012

Crossing Agreement and Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act

06/15

2012 - Signing of the Crossing Agreement

2012 - Signing of the Crossing Agreement

On June 15, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, announced that they had concluded an agreement to enable the building of the new publicly-owned Windsor-Detroit bridge crossing. With the signing of the crossing agreement, Canada and Michigan are able to move the project forward to its next steps which include further design work and property acquisition on the U.S. side. Under the agreement, Canada will be responsible for constructing, financing and operating the new crossing through a public-private partnership. Further, the agreement stipulates that all iron and steel for any bridge component in Canada and for any component of the project in the United States, will be sourced in either Canada or the United States. The crossing will be publicly-owned, jointly with Canada and Michigan and overseen by an International Authority comprised of members appointed by both parties.

Read More about 2012 - Signing of the Crossing Agreement
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder at the Windsor Riverfront
12/14

2012 - Canada passes the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act

2012 - Canada passes the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act

On December 14, 2012, the Government of Canada passed the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act. There are several benefits to this new legislation. As the new bridge will be built by the private sector under a Public-Private Partnership (P3), the new legislation will bring certainty to the P3 market for the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The new legislation also exempts the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge from a number of federal laws under which permits, approvals or authorizations would normally be required. The Act however would compel the project proponents (including the P3 partner) to comply with the intent of these laws even though a permit/approval would not be issued The new legislation also clarified a number of corporate governance issues and provided minor amendments to the International Bridges and Tunnels Act to facilitate implementation of the project, including the establishment of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and International Authority.

Read More about 2012 - Canada passes the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act
Cover page of the Bridge To Strengthen Trade Act.
2013

Presidential Permit approved

4/12

2013 - Presidential Permit

2013 - Presidential Permit

On April 12, 2013, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the U.S. State Department's issuance of the Presidential Permit providing U.S. federal approval for the “construction, connection, operation, and maintenance” of the new publicly-owned bridge linking Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. Michigan applied for the presidential permit on June 21, 2012, shortly after Canada and Michigan signed the Crossing Agreement. Following an extended public comment period, the Department of State determined that the issuance of a Presidential Permit “would serve the national interest” and that the “permit contributes to ensuring that our border infrastructure supports increased competitiveness, job creation, and broad-based prosperity in the United States and Canada. The NITC will help to meet future capacity requirements in a critical travel corridor, promote cross-border trade and commerce, and advance our vital bilateral relationship with Canada.”

Read More about 2013 - Presidential Permit
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announces U.S. presidential permit approved for new Windsor-Detroit bridge. Photo: Tanya Moutzalias / MLive.com
2014

U.S Coast Guard Permit, WDBA and International Authority announced

05/30

2014 - U.S. Coast Guard Permit

2014 - U.S. Coast Guard Permit

On May 30, 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Bridge Permit for the new publicly-owned “International Bridge across the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada”. The navigational permit was the final key U.S. federal approval required for the U.S. portion of the project and approves the portion of the bridge to be constructed across waters under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Read More about 2014 - U.S. Coast Guard Permit
United States Coast Guard
06/30

2014 - Appointments to the International Authority and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

2014 - Appointments to the International Authority and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

News Release Appointments to the International Authority and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority July 30, 2014 Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Transport and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced appointments to the International Authority which will oversee the construction of the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Kristine Burr and Mrs. Geneviève Gagnon have been appointed by Canada and Mr. Michael D. Hayes, Mrs. Birgit M. Klohs and Mr. Matt Rizik have been appointed by Michigan. Mrs. Burr will also serve as the Chairperson of the International Authority. A third Canadian member will be selected by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) in the near future. Minister Raitt also announced today appointments to the Board of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. Mr. Michele “Michael” Cautillo P.Eng., M.Eng., has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mark McQueen as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and Mr. William Graham and Mrs. Caroline Mulroney Lapham as Directors. Quick Facts The International Authority was created pursuant to the Crossing Agreement signed by Canada and Michigan on June 15, 2012. Comprised of six members with equal representation from Canada and Michigan, the International Authority will oversee and approve key steps in the P3 procurement process for the new Windsor-Detroit bridge crossing. It will also monitor the compliance of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority with the Crossing Agreement signed by Canada and Michigan.   The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority was created in 2012 and is Canada’s newest Crown Corporation. The WDBA will manage the procurement process for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new bridge through a public-private partnership (P3). It will also oversee the work of the public-private partnership, manage the concession agreement and payments, and set and collect tolls.   The project is known as the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) in Canada and the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) in Michigan. The project consists of four major infrastructure components: the bridge, the Canadian port of entry (POE), the U.S. POE, and an interchange connection to Interstate 75 in Michigan. Quotes “These appointments to the International Authority and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority are a significant step forward towards building a new publicly-owned bridge between Canada and the United States. These individuals bring strong leadership skills, engineering, legal and financial expertise, and wide-ranging business experience to the International Authority and the WDBA board. We will benefit greatly from their knowledge and commitment to community service.” The Honourable Lisa Raitt Minister of Transport “This milestone is the latest achievement in an exciting project that will create short- and long-term jobs, energize the economy and enhance security for Michigan and Canada. The International Authority has a leadership role in driving the New International Trade Crossing forward. We’re fortunate to have such talented, dedicated appointees who are willing to serve. I am confident they will provide the expertise and guidance that will make the NITC a shining example of international cooperation and economic success.” Rick Snyder Governor of Michigan Related Products Backgrounders DRIC/NITC International Authority Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority - 30 - Contacts Jana Régimbal Press Secretary Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt Minister of Transport, Ottawa 613-991-0700 Sara Wurfel Governor’s Office wurfels@michigan.gov 517-335-6397 Media Relations Transport Canada, Ottawa 613-993-0055 Dave Murray Governor’s Office murrayd1@michigan.gov 517-335-6397    

Read More about 2014 - Appointments to the International Authority and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority
Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Transport and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
11/10

2014 - New appointments to the Board of Directors of the WDBA and International Authority

2014 - New appointments to the Board of Directors of the WDBA and International Authority

At a media event on November 10, 2014, MP Jeff Watson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, announced the final appointments to the Board of Directors of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and the International Authority. “We need dedicated people to make this project a reality,” said Watson. “I am pleased to announce two appointments that will help this project move forward.” Craig S. Rix, who was appointed to the WDBA Board of Directors by the Minister of Transport, is a University of Windsor law school graduate, and, through his legal practice, has significant experience in human resources law and advocacy, strategic planning, governance and public policy. MP Watson also announced the appointment of Eddie Francis as the WDBA’s representative to the International Authority. Mr. Francis’ appointment will take place December 1, 2014. In welcoming Mr. Francis and Mr. Rix, WDBA Board Chair, said that their professional experience “will greatly benefit the WDBA and International Authority as they build the new bridge.”

Read More about 2014 - New appointments to the Board of Directors of the WDBA and International Authority
MP Watson welcomes Eddie Francis as new Internation Authority member
11/10

2014 - Canada and the United States sign an Arrangement regarding the U.S inspection plaza

2014 - Canada and the United States sign an Arrangement regarding the U.S inspection plaza

On February 18, 2015, the governments of Canada, the United States and Michigan announced that they had concluded discussions and signed an Arrangement regarding the funding of the U.S. inspection plaza for the project. Under the terms of the Arrangement, the U.S. inspection plaza will be procured as part of the public-private partnership to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the project. The cost of the entire project will be repaid from future toll revenues. The Arrangement sets out the roles and responsibilities for all parties going forward with respect to the U.S. port of entry and was drafted to be consistent with the Canada-Michigan Crossing Agreement signed by Canada and Michigan in 2012. Most importantly, the Arrangement avoids further delays in building the much-needed new crossing by allowing Canada and Michigan to move the project forward to its next steps which include further design work and property acquisition on the U.S. side.

Read More about 2014 - Canada and the United States sign an Arrangement regarding the U.S inspection plaza
News release: Government of Canada welcomes an arrangement with the United States to advance the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan
2015

05/14

2015 - Prime Minister Harper and Governor Rick Synder introduce the Gordie Howe International Bridge

2015 - Prime Minister Harper and Governor Rick Synder introduce the Gordie Howe International Bridge

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, joined by Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, and Murray Howe son of hockey legend, Gordie Howe, announce that the future publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Read More about 2015 - Prime Minister Harper and Governor Rick Synder introduce the Gordie Howe International Bridge
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, joined by Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, and Murray Howe son of hockey legend, Gordie Howe.
07/20

2015 - Launch of the procurement process

2015 - Launch of the procurement process

On July 20, 2015, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority announced the launch of the procurement process for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge. The first stage of the process is the Request for Qualifications (RFQ).  The purpose of the RFQ is to pre-qualify teams to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

Read More about 2015 - Launch of the procurement process
Introductory Project meeting for interested respondents. At the meeting, the WDBA shared the scope of the requirements outlined in the RFQ.
08/28

2015 - Early Works

2015 - Early Works

August 28, 2015 - The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority selects Amico Infrastructures Inc. of Oldcastle, Ontario as its contractor to complete the Early Works on the site of the Canadian port of entry.  The contract is valued at approximately $59 million.  

Read More about 2015 - Early Works
The Early Works activities are being undertaken to prepare the Canadian port of entry.
10/09

2015 - Submission deadline for respondents

2015 - Submission deadline for respondents

October 9, 2015, marked the submission deadline for respondents interested in competing in the procurement process to select a private-sector partner to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority received submissions from six different North American and international teams and the rigorous evaluation process, overseen by a Fairness Monitor, began.

Read More about 2015 - Submission deadline for respondents
2016

01/20

2016 - Short-listed respondents announced

2016 - Short-listed respondents announced

On January 20, 2016, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority announced Legacy Link Partners, Bridging North America and CanAm Gateway Partners as the Short-Listed Respondents that would move forward in the competitive procurement process to select a private-sector partner to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. With this announcement, the first of two stages in the P3 procurement process, the RFQ stage, was completed.  All three proponents include local firms as members of their teams.

Read More about 2016 - Short-listed respondents announced
A stack of boxes.
11/10

2016 - Request for Proposals issued

2016 - Request for Proposals issued

On November 10, 2016, Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority announced the issuance of the Request for Proposals (RFP) to the short-listed respondents (now known as the Proponents). The RFP is the second phase of the procurement process to select a private-sector proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Read More about 2016 - Request for Proposals issued
Binders with RFP documents
12/14

2016 - Dwight Duncan appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors

2016 - Dwight Duncan appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors

December 14, 2016,The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced the appointment of Dwight Duncan as Chair of the Board of Directors at the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA).

Read More about 2016 - Dwight Duncan appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors
Dwight Duncan
2017

03/01

2017 - WDBA announces that cyclists and pedestrians will be permitted on the Gordie Howe international Bridge

2017 - WDBA announces that cyclists and pedestrians will be permitted on the Gordie Howe international Bridge

On March 1, 2017, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) announced that as a result of public consultation and feedback and engagement with Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will include a dedicated multi-use path that will accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.

Read More about 2017 - WDBA announces that cyclists and pedestrians will be permitted on the Gordie Howe international Bridge
Bike or Hike the Gordie Howe International Bridge.