Windsor

'Thousands of jobs' expected to come for Gordie Howe bridge project

Dozens of people turned out to hear the latest information about the new Gordie Howe bridge project Wednesday night at Mackenzie Hall, and some came with hopes of landing work with the newly selected consortium that will design, build and operate the bridge.

Dozens of people, some seeking jobs, attended a bridge meeting in Sandwich Town Wednesday

A community meeting about the Gordie Howe bridge project Wednesday night quickly turned into a discussion about jobs. (Courtesy of Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority)

Dozens of people turned out to hear the latest information about the new Gordie Howe bridge project Wednesday night at Mackenzie Hall, and some came with hopes of landing work with the newly selected consortium that will design, build and operate the bridge.

"I would love to be in the construction end of it for the skilled trades but I'm a little old," said Gena Hamelin, who is retired. She hopes to work in either toll collecting or maintenance once the bridge is complete.

The Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) still does not have a firm completion date for the bridge, but spokesperson Mark Butler confirms work will begin in the fall — sometime after September 28 — when the WDBA and the consortium, Bridging North America, expect to have the financial end of the deal worked out.

"Soon after that you'll see the actual direct construction for the building of the components of the entire project," said Butler, adding that will include things like preparatory work on the piers, the connection with Mich. I-75 and onsite buildings.

'Thousands of jobs'

Butler, and Bridging North America spokesperson Jamie Breme, say the project will create "thousands of jobs over the life cycle of the project."

"Skilled labour, professional staff, engineers, you name it we're going to be looking for that and the supporting staff as well," said Breme, adding that of course the project will create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

The bridge authority can't really say how tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and reciprocal tariffs on U.S. steel will affect the cost of the project, but Butler said steel will be purchased in either Canada or the U.S. and will not come from overseas.

WDBA employees were on hand at the meeting to answer questions and provide the community with an update on the project. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Breme said those interested in applying for jobs should come to the quarterly community meetings and keep their eyes on the WDBA website for more information. He said they will be hiring "very soon," and did not rule out the idea of holding a hiring fair.

"We will also be in the community meeting with different organizations to field how employees can work," said Breme.

A similar meeting will be held in Detroit Thursday.

About the Author

Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is an award-winning video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print.

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