The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring an effective flow of commerce between Canada and the United States (U.S.) with a view to generating jobs and economic growth. To this end, on May 14, 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the future publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
The Windsor-Detroit trade corridor is the busiest commercial land border crossing on the Canada-U.S. border, handling 31 per cent of Canada-U.S. trade carried by truck. In 2014, approximately 2.5 million trucks carrying over $100 billion in trade used this corridor.
The Windsor-Detroit gateway is currently served by the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, and the Detroit River (rail) Tunnel. Studies estimate that delays at the Canada-U.S. border cost Canada and the U.S. billions of dollars annually. The future bridge will provide additional border crossing capacity, will shorten trip times and will lessen congestion and resulting traffic delays at the border.
The future publicly-owned bridge between Windsor and Detroit will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge, as both Canadians and Americans identify with this Canadian-born hockey legend who played a great deal of his career in the U.S. and who built extraordinary goodwill between our two countries and indeed on the international stage.
Gordie Howe was born in Floral, Saskatchewan, and during his career was known as “Mr. Hockey.” He has distinguished himself as one of the most prolific and talented hockey players of all time. Throughout a career that spanned five decades, Mr. Howe won the Hart Trophy six times as the National Hockey League’s (NHL) most valuable player; the Art Ross Trophy six times as the leading scorer; the Stanley Cup four times with the Detroit Red Wings; and was selected to 23 NHL All-Star teams. His endurance was legendary and his career spanned so many years that he ended up playing with his sons Mark and Marty where together they won two World Hockey Association championships. Gordie Howe was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1971. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1975 and into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2000. Mr. Howe was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
The publicly-owned Gordie Howe International Bridge is expected to be completed and in service in 2020. It will accelerate the flow of goods and services and provide a much-needed crossing alternative at the busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing, creating thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border. The bridge will feature a total of six lanes, associated border inspection plazas, and direct connections to Highway 401 in Ontario and Interstate-75 in Michigan.
The new crossing will help spur economic activity in southern Ontario, and improve transportation efficiency between Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada with the U.S.
Canada and the U.S. have the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, with two-way trade in goods and services of nearly $870 billion in 2014. Almost $2.4 billion worth of goods and services crosses the Canada-U.S. border every day – approximately $1.7 million every single minute.