skip to content

Gordie Howe International Bridge: First Binational P3

Location: Windsor, Ontario-Detroit, Michigan

Status: Under construction

Type of P3: Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain

Value of Partnership: $5.7B 

The Windsor-Detroit corridor is Canada’s most important trade conduit with the United States. In 2012 2.5 million trucks carrying $105.6 billion in trade used the corridor — more than Canada trades with any other country.

Currently the Windsor-Detroit gateway is served by the Ambassador Bridge, a tunnel, truck ferry and rail tunnel however studies estimate that delays at the border cost millions of dollars annually and in future increased capacity will be necessary.

In 2012 Canada and Michigan entered into a Crossing Agreement enabling the construction for a publicly owned bridge crossing. Also in 2012 the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) was created, a not-for-profit Crown Corporation that is managing the procurement process for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a new bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. 


  • Uncertainty surrounding land acquisition of approximately 30 U.S. and Canadian properties caused a delay in issuing the RFP to shortlisted proponents by approximately a year
  • The American-based owner of the Ambassador Bridge, Manuel (Matty) Moroun, has fought construction of the new bridge, even launching court challenges to have it stopped


  • The Canada-Michigan relationship is governed by a Crossing Agreement, signed in 2013


  • The project includes four major infrastructure components: the bridge, Canadian port of entry, U.S. port of entry and a connection to Interstate 75 in Michigan
  • The project is creating direct, on-site jobs, including direct hires, subcontractors and seconded individuals
  • The project not only improves the efficiency of the border crossing in the region, but also provides direct highway connections, thereby reducing costs associated with shipping and greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants resulting from idling vehicles
  • Border inspection agencies in both countries are working with project proponents to ensure the proposed border processing facilities meet future trade and travel demand and security requirements at the border crossing
  • The new Gordie Howe International Bridge will address future needs and will provide six lanes to meet anticipated growth in traffic over the years to come
  • With features like a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, LEED Silver rating for buildings and a robust Community Benefits Plan, the project will result in not only economic opportunities but positive environmental and community impacts as well