DETROIT — Over the next four weeks there will be major changes on the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge as the last concrete pour for the sloped architectural heads at the top of the pylon head is now complete and the U.S. tower has reached its full height of 220 metres.
Crews will now begin removing the jump form system which includes artwork by Detroit-based artist Roberto Villalobos.
These last steps are anticipated to begin at the Canadian bridge tower this month.
Removal of the jump form system involves a multi-step process that will last about four weeks. Crews will disassemble the jump forms by removing equipment, platforms and materials before a crane lifts away eight giant panels from the tower, one side at a time, indicates a release. The team is currently working with regional stakeholders to find a permanent home for the artwork.
The bridge towers are integral to the cable-stayed design of the bridge and house the anchor boxes that attach the stay cables from the towers to the bridge and road decks. Along with the stay cables, the towers provide the support system for the entire weight of the bridge and the load it will eventually carry.
The architectural heads atop the north and south faces of the tower measure 1.5 metres in height. They not only add to the esthetic design of the tower, they are slopped to prevent snow and ice accumulation.
The area between the architectural heads at the top of the tower remains open to provide crews access to materials and equipment to continue the installation of stay cables as the bridge deck moves out over the Detroit River and as the road deck connects to the Port of Entry, states the release.
Once complete, the tower in Canada will be the tallest structure in Windsor. It will also rival the height of Detroit’s tallest building, the 73-storey centre tower of the GM Renaissance Center.