Construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge is expected to begin in June or early July of 2018, according to officials with the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.
- CBC Q&A: | Minister of Infrastructure won't commit to Gordie Howe bridge completion date
WDBA Chair Dwight Duncan provided the update during the organization's annual public meeting held Friday afternoon at the Capitol Theatre.
"By July we should see early works," he said. "It will be the beginning so you're not going to see giant support pillars up overnight. But you will see a lot of activity happening very quickly."
Meeting has started with introductions. pic.twitter.com/ptkEQioAlI— @StaceyJReports
The organization is planning to have settled on its final proponent by the end of May, while the two other proponents will be partially compensated for the expensive application process.
"It's a multi-million dollar process just to be involved," explained Duncan.
Duncan declined to give a 100 per cent guarantee construction on the bridge would begin by the end of 2018, instead stating "I'm giving .... our best estimate."
When asked whether he could provide a completion date for the crossing, he joked it should be finished within his lifetime.
"I hope," he added.
More than 83 per cent of homes on the Michigan side of the Gordie Howe International Bridge are now under the control of the Michigan Department of Transportation, according to Canadian bridge officials.
That number can be increased to 93 per cent when homes currently under court orders to be vacated are included, according to Duncan.
The room is starting to fill up with people ready to ask questions about the Gordie Howe bridge construction. pic.twitter.com/zjG6XUUEhB— @StaceyJReports
Focus on 2016-17 fiscal year. They ask those from the public to write down their questions and they will be responded to - if not today by the end of next week.— @StaceyJReports
Dwight Duncan says they’re still focused on the bridge and moving the project forward.— @StaceyJReports
Duncan says they’re working on finding a private sector partner. They expect to have that decided by late 2018.— @StaceyJReports