Windsor cyclists pumped to bike Gordie Howe bridge

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority announced a pedestrian path for cyclists and walkers will be included on the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority announced bike lanes will be part of bridge construction

The announcement that the Ambassador Bridge's application to build a second span over the Detroit River was a huge victory for its owner, American businessman Matty Moroun. But for some proponents of the yet to be built Gordie Howe Bridge, it was a sign that that project may be doomed. (Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press/Associated Press)

Pedestrians will be allowed to bike or hike on the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

The announcement of "a dedicated multi-use path" available to cyclists and pedestrians was made during a news event at Bike Windsor-Essex on Wednesday.

"We're very excited," said Lori Newton, executive director of Bike Windsor-Essex. "Today is a huge day for us."

Including bike lanes on the bridge will connect Windsor "more strongly" with Detroit, she added, calling cycling a big boost to tourism.

Lori Newton of Bike Windsor-Essex. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

"Cyclists are very thirsty and very hungry and are interested in local experiences," she said.

Representatives of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority said the decision came after public consultation and feedback from both Canadian and American border protection agencies.

A request for pedestrian walkways was included as a design element for potential bridge builders and the bridge authority said it will be up to individual companies to suggest how it could be included.

"It is anticipated that the multi-use path will be located on the east side of the bridge," according to the news release. "Barriers will separate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicular traffic to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public."

The path will feature one lane with two-way traffic and users will be required to carry the same identification as any other person crossing the border.

Politicians praise decision

Canada's Minister of Infrastructure and Communities praised the applauded to allow non-motorized travellers on the bridge.

"This continued collaboration was further affirmed by Prime Minister Trudeau and (U.S.)President Trump who recently reiterated their strong support for the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge," he added. 

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, also took to twitter to celebrate the move, calling the inclusion of cyclists "wonderful news."