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Saturday June 17th, 2017

Posted at 11:52am

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The future site of the Gordie Howe International Bridge was open to the public today, giving residents the chance to see how the development in west Windsor is progressing.

The fifty-three hectare site at Sandwich and Broadway will be the future home of the Canadian Port of Entry, and the approach to the 2.5 kilometre bridge. Tours ran every half hour from 9:30am to 12:30pm Saturday, taking attendees through the construction site to explain the newly implemented water drainage systems, the movement of existing power lines, and how the land has been prepared for further construction.

“We’re calling it a walkabout,” says┬áHeather Grondin, Vice-President of Communications and Stakeholder Relations with The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA). “It’s really an opportunity for us to be able to show the community all the progress that’s going on with the project, and get them to see the construction site first-hand.”

Matt Oldewening was one of todays tour guides and has been involved with the WDBA for two years now, assisting on the early works project and utilities relocation. “I like letting people know what it is I do and what we’re doing here at the WDBA,” he says about his chance to show people around the site.

The last walkabout was held in November 2016 and attracted about one hundred visitors.

“At this point we’re able to do it given the type of construction that’s going on right now,” says Grondin, referring to the public tours. “When full construction starts, once our private sector partner is on board, there will be even more activity here, so we certainly can’t conduct any activities that would be unsafe for the public.”

The contractor that will design, build, and operate the bridge is still being determined. The request for proposals was released November 10, 2016, and this stage of the project should take eighteen months to complete. Once the private sector partner is chosen, says Grondin, construction of The Gordie How International Bridge should take four to five years.

Tour guide and WDBA employee Matt Oldewening.

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