Gordie Howe Bridge Officials Not Concerned About Contaminated Soil

Recent tests on the U.S. side of the site of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge have found contaminants.

Tests have found PFAS - a chemical considered to be carcinogenic - in the soil and groundwater.

According to Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority Spokesperson, Mark Butler, PFAS levels exceeding Michigan state guidelines have been found in an area that sits about one kilometer away from the Detroit River. 

Butler tells AM800 News while contaminants have been found, they are not considered to be significant.

"Certainly the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and the Michigan Department of Transportation, who are working with us on this project, are taking our environmental concerns very seriously and will be taking all of the appropriate environmental mitigation," says Butler.

He says even though the chemicals are considered carcinogenic, there's no risk to it getting into the water supply.

"Certainly the area that we are building, that area and the surrounding community use the City of Detroit water supply so even if there is any sort of PFAS that has been evident, it would only be in ground water, it would not contaminate the drinking supply."

According to Butler the findings will not delay the project and he says "We are continuing to monitor and to do testing that's appropriate and again, we have very significant environmental mitigation that's put in place. We know our requirements on the environmental assessment which we do on both sides of the border so we will take the appropriate action as needed."

Now that the winter season is over, Butler says we can expect to see construction activities ramp up on both sides of the border. 

The new $5.7-billion crossing is expected to be in service by the end of 2024.