North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge links USA and Canada

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After four years of construction, work is nearing completion on North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge. Providing an additional connection between the USA and Canada, the Gordie Howe International Bridge’s main span will measure an impressive 853 m (2,800 ft) once complete.

Designed by AECOM’s Erik Behrens, in collaboration with the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, Bridging North America, Dragados, Fluor, and Aeco, the Gordie Howe International Bridge is the 10th-longest cable-stayed bridge worldwide (Russia has the longest). It will also boast the longest composite steel and concrete bridge deck for any cable-stayed bridge in the world once finished.

The project derives its name from the Canadian hockey star Gordie Howe who played for the Detroit Red Wings. Its overall form also subtly nods to ice hockey and its tower legs are meant to echo the curvature of a hockey-stick making a slapshot.

So far, 27 pre-designed deck segments averaging roughly 15 m (50 ft) in length and a width of 37.5 m (123 ft) have been painstakingly installed at a height of 46 m (150 ft) above the Detroit River, with just a small gap left to link Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit, Michigan. The last pieces of deck segments are now being added and will be carefully installed over the coming weeks.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge’s entire length will be 2.5 km (1.55 miles) Courtesy of WDBA

“The two towers with their imposing height of 220 m [721 ft], and fan-shaped arrangement of 216 cables (108 on each side) creates majestic portals that launch the bridge deck across the river,” explains AECOM. “The deck floats high above the water in a smooth arch and transitions seamlessly into the side spans at either end. The side spans on each side of the river are completed by 27 pairs of stay cables and three pairs of ancillary piers which are fitted with tie-downs that transfer the loads directly into the ground.”

Though the six-lane bridge is almost structurally complete, there’s still some work left to be done. First, the stay cables will need to be properly tensioned and then the road surfaces, barriers, a multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians, plus electrical systems will all need to be installed. With this in mind, the bridge is expected to open to the public some time in 2025.

Source: New Atlas