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Groundbreaking for New Bridge Good for West Michigan

Groundbreaking for New Bridge Good for West Michigan

The Grand Rapids Chamber was on hand to kick-off the initial construction phase for the new crossing to Canada, the Gordie Howe International Bridge (GHIB).

This project has been discussed for decades and will strengthen the relationship between the United States and Canada, the world’s largest trading partners. More than 40% of the estimated $1.2 billion in daily trade between the two countries crosses in the Detroit/Windsor region. The new bridge will improve the flow of trade and the crossing will play an integral part in creating and supporting economic growth.

Groundbreaking for New Bridge Good for West Michigan 1

Canada will pay for all costs of bridge construction and the groundbreaking ceremony followed the selection of a construction manager for the bridge project just a few weeks ago.

At the event, Governor Rick Snyder said there were “three common sense reasons” for building the GHIB: the project will create short- and long-term jobs, support our economic security, and maintain the critical friendship with Canada.

Your Grand Rapids Chamber endeavored to make this bridge a reality as it will have a tremendous impact on West Michigan. With the support of our members, we were a statewide leader working with a coalition to advance a new crossing including pushing a public campaign and working with state legislators.

One in seven jobs in the region is tied to trade, and a number of our member companies do business with Canada every day. Access to reliable, efficient transportation routes is a critical component to trade, and it can be a deciding factor in determining where businesses choose to locate.  To ensure West Michigan companies can compete, they need the infrastructure to connect them to the marketplace.

Questions? Contact Andy Johnston at 616.771.0335 or johnstona@grandrapids.org.

Quick Facts:

  • Advance construction activities include design work to progress with foundation construction of the main bridge, test piles, preparation work at Interstate 75, and geotechnical exploration.
  • The Gordie Howe International Bridge brings opportunities in the form of jobs and contracts for local workers, service providers, and material manufacturers and distributors in both Canada and the United States.
  • The Windsor-Detroit Gateway is the busiest Canada-United States commercial land border crossing and is vital to the economies of Ontario, Michigan, Canada and the United States, with some 7,000 trucks crossing each day. About 2.5 million trucks cross the Windsor-Detroit border each year. In 2017 this represented over US$106.5 billion in bilateral trade (CAD$138 billion).
  • The Gordie Howe International Bridge project includes the construction of:
    • A six-lane, cable-stayed design bridge of 850m (0.53 miles) and a total length of approximately 2.5 km (1.5 miles),
    • Canadian and United States Ports of Entry including approach bridges, customs plazas and a tolling station on the Canadian side; and,
    • A Michigan interchange connecting Interstate 75 to the United States Port of Entry.
  • Once constructed, Canada’s Port of Entry will be the largest Canadian port on the Canada-United States border and the United States Port of Entry will be one of the largest in North America.
  • Canada and the United States share the world’s longest secure border, over which approximately 400,000 people, and goods and services worth US$1.9 billion (CAD$2.5 billion), cross daily.

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