Funding Released for Four Community Benefit Plan Projects

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The money is flowing through for four projects stemming from the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

As part of the Community Benefits Plan, the Gordie Howe International project team announced $475,000 for two initiatives in Canada and two in the United States focused on aesthetics, landscaping, economic benefits and community partnerships.

Vice President of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Heather Grondin, says the projects were chosen thanks to public input.

"Through our consultation period that ran between 2015 and 2020, we heard a number of ideas and suggestions of things to be included in Community Benefits," she says. "These are ideas are some of those suggestions that came forward."

Windsor is getting $250,000 for an Environmental Assessment for the Ojibway Park — Black Oak Heritage Park wildlife eco-passage.

Life After Fifty will also receive $50,000 to support a Sandwich Community Arts project that will involve youth and reflect history and culture.

The remainder of the funding will go to the U.S. to launch a new business development program and to create a sculpture within the new Fort Street Bridge Park.

Grondin says this is only part of the bigger envelope of funding.

"This is part of that $20-million that we had set aside for neighbourhood infrastructure improvements or betterments in the community immediately adjacent to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project," she says.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan was first announced June 14, 2019, with funding being set aside for 29 initiatives on both sides of the border.

Grondin says this marks a milestone in the overall project.

"We heard a lot from the community that it was very important to understand the impact of being the host for a major international crossing, that people wanted to see some true benefits and true betterments coming to those people who live and work most directly to the project," she adds.

More funding will continue to be delivered through to 2025.

Briding North America, selected to build the crossing between Windsor and Detroit, says the span will run a total length of 2.5km, making it the longest cable-stayed bridge in North American and the seventh largest in the world.

Construction of the $5.7-billion project is expected to be completed in 2025.