Gordie Howe bridge towers reach for the sky, deck construction one year away

Towers shoot 70 metres into the air at both the Canadian and U.S. side of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. (Source: Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority)

Over the past 12 months, construction at the Gordie Howe International Bridge site has been moving at a fast clip.

Just cresting from the soil in 2020, the pylon towers that support the cables and deck of the bridge have shot toward the sky currently measuring 70 metres from the ground.

When they’re at peak height, according to contractor Bridging North America, the towers will shoot up nearly three times as high — 220 metres — about the same height as the Renaissance Centre.

And it won’t take long.

“The towers reaching to the top should probably be another 12 months now,” says Josh Perry, the construction manager with Bridging North America.

Shortly after, cables will begin to appear and the moment everyone is waiting for will be right around the corner.

“2023 is when we could begin to construct the deck over the water, and early part of 2022 we could begin constructing the superstructure deck over the back span,” says Perry.

Next year, an observation deck will go up at Malden Park on Windsor’s west end to give onlookers more opportunities to get that million-dollar view of construction progress.

For now, one of the best vantage points to check out progress is at the top of the tallest hill at Malden, and many are making the trek up one of Windsor’s only elevated platforms to take a peek.

Among those people — Tony Woloszyn.

“To see the bridge for the first time from the hill is quite incredible,” Woloszyn says. “You can finally see what’s taking shape and what the vision is for the Gordie Howe Bridge.”

“This is my backyard and I have been watching it for over 40 years, and I’ve been watching it grow,” says Margaret Seguin, who usually watches the trees and natural foliage grow — but has lately been intrigued by the progress on the bridge.

“I got up the hill at least once a week to make sure everything is on point and so far they’re doing a good job,” she says.

In an update this week, contractors with Bridging North America said the $5.7 billion bridge is on target and is projected to open to the travelling public in 2024.

When that happens, Seguin is excited to buy a new pair of shoes to check it out from a much closer vantage point.

“My big hope is that I’m going to be here to walk across it one day, to the other side, and then come back,” Seguin says.