Input Sought for Gordie Howe Bridge Community Fund

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The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America are looking for public input.

A survey has been launched to gathered opinions and feedback on how to spend money set aside in a Community Benefits fund, a requirement in the construction of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge linking Windsor and Detroit.

A $20-million fund has been set aside for benefits to the hosting communities of Sandwich in west Windsor and Delray, Michigan.

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Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority's Director of Communications Mark Butler (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Bridge authority spokesperson Mark Butler says there are two components to the plan.

"The first one is known as the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy. That's a $20-million fund it's $10-million for each side, which does exactly as the name would suggest," says Butler. "It's money to go into neighbourhood infrastructure."

The other portion of the community benefits plan is a workforce development piece that requires at least $250-million worth of work on the bridge be performed by companies and workers living within 100 km of the span.

Butler says even before the survey was launched, the WDBA had already received some feedback on how to spend the money in the benefits plan.

"We had over 230 suggestions, many of them have been the same," he says. "We've lumped them into different categories, if you will.  But we are continuing our consultation and now we feel that the best way to get a very wide representation is to have a survey."

Along with an online survey, Butler says a paper version can be found at the bridge authority office at 100 Ouellette Ave. Various public meetings will also be scheduled.

The other portion of the community benefits plan is a workforce development piece that requires at least $250-million worth of work on the bridge be performed by companies and workers living within 100 km of the span.

CLICK HERE to find the online survey.