Gordie Howe International Bridge Detroit, Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge in North America
Gordie Howe International Bridge
New Crossing in Detroit, Michigan, USA / Ontario, Canada – design by Erik Behrens, AECOM
Jan 14, 2019
Gordie Howe International Bridge
Architectural Details of Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge in North America unveiled
Location: Detroit River, between Ontario, Canada and Michigan, USA
For: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA)
Design: Erik Behrens, AECOM
Gordie Howe was a legend. Known as Mr Hockey, he clocked up 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and is widely recognised as one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time.
So what does he have to do with a new bridge soon to cross the Detroit River between Ontario and Michigan? Howe was a proud Canadian and equally proud to have played most of his professional career in the United States.
Just as he linked the two counties, the new bridge will connect communities on both sides of the border. It is fitting that this elegant new piece of infrastructure linking Detroit in the west and Windsor in the east should take this great hockey hero’s name.
The winning bid to build the long-awaited Gordie Howe International Bridge has just been announced by Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA). The 2.5km bridge with its main span of 853m meters will be the longest cable-stayed bridge on the continent and one of the largest in the world. It will be designed and delivered by AECOM and its Bridging North America consortium partners.
The Windsor-Detroit trade corridor is the busiest commercial land crossing on the U.S.-Canada border. The new six-lane bridge will provide new border crossing capacity to meet increased long-term international trade and travel demand.
The bridge is designed as a gentle curve, anchored at each bank by graceful towers. The two towers with their imposing height at more than 200 m, and fan-shaped arrangement of cables will create majestic portals that launch the bridge deck across the river. The distance between the two pylons, the main span, is 853m, and the side spans are each 320m. The deck floats high above the water in a smooth arch and transitions seamlessly into the side spans at either end. The side spans are completed by the 12 backstay cables and a pair of ancillary piers that transfer the loads directly into the ground.
“The aesthetic appeal of this cable-stayed bridge lays in the extreme slenderness of the deck which in combination with thin stays provides an impression of gravity-defying lightness and transparency,” said Erik Behrens, AECOM’s Chief Bridge Architect. “The patterns of the stay cables create ever-changing moire effects when viewed from different angles.”
“We studied and carefully analyzed the level of deformation and stresses in the bridge deck, the stays and in the towers. The completed design is elegant and efficient, with each component being carefully proportioned and balanced to create a well-executed structural configuration”, said Steve Stroh, AECOM’s Chief Bridge Engineer.
“At night, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will become a landmark light sculpture and transformational work of public art, stimulating a culture of collaboration and cross-cultural exchange in the region,” said Behrens.
The Bridging North America consortium will also be responsible for building the Canadian Port of Entry, U.S. Port of Entry, and Michigan’s I-75 interchange connecting to the bridge.
The work on the project started in the fall of 2018.
Gordie Howe International Bridge in Detroit – Consortium Information
The winning consortium, known as Bridging North America includes Dragados, Aecon, Fluor, AECOM and other partners.
Erik Behrens of AECOM is a German Designer and Architect who heads-up an award winning Design Studio in London. His work is innovative and signified by ambitious designs, many defying traditional architectural conventions. Recent work has included an Oxygen Park in Qatar that is an antidote for indoor gyms, a high-altitude Skypark that enables new ways to enjoy our cities and one of the world’s biggest pieces of public art the ‘Lusail Expressway Arches’ in Doha that forms a Gateway from its past to the future.
Dr. Steve Stroh is a leading American Bridge Engineer who heads-up AECOM’s Complex Bridge Practice in America. He has been the lead engineer of several signature bridges around the world including the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and Ma Wan Viaducts in Hong Kong and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven. Dr. Stroh is an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida and an active member of several national and international technical committees.
Gordie Howe International Bridge images / information from AECOM
Location:Gordie Howe International Bridge, USA
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Gordie Howe International Bridge, Michigan, USA
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