Gordie Howe bridge faces delays on both sides of border

About 30 of the roughly 900 parcels needed in the Delray district of Detroit could pose potential problems if owners resist selling.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is scheduled to open in 2020.

It was more than a year ago when Gordie Howe's son, Murray Howe, looked on as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, left, and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper shook hands during a news conference in Windsor, Ont., announcing that a planned bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, will be named after the hockey Hall of Famer. (Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press/The Associated Press)

An official says plans for a bridge linking Windsor, Ont., and Detroit are being held up by delays in buying properties in both cities.

Dwight Duncan, interim chair of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, tells the Detroit Free Press that about 30 of the roughly 900 parcels needed in the Delray district of Detroit could pose potential problems if owners resist selling.

In Windsor, meanwhile, the newspaper says negotiations are taking longer than originally anticipated with Hydro One, which has facilities and transmission lines in the zone for the bridge.

Meanwhile, the Herb Gray Parkway, a new highway that cost nearly $2 billion CDN and will eventually link Highway 401 to the Gordie Howe bridge, remains a completed road to nowhere other than west Windsor, rather than connecting to the bridge.

The delays have held up release of the bridge authority's formal Request for Proposals, the detailed bid document initially expected by the end of 2015.

However, prep work has started on the new customs and toll plaza on the Canadian side of the bridge.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is scheduled to open in 2020.