WINDSOR, ONT. – The Gordie Howe International Bridge project team recently announced it has reached a new construction milestone with the completion of the 460-foot tower legs.
Now that the tower legs, also known as the lower pylon, have reached their full height, the construction consortium Bridging North America will begin work on the final portion of the tower, the pylon head, stated a release. The towers’ final form will take shape over the remainder of 2022 as this 262-foot stage is completed.
The bridge is being built between Windsor, Ont. and Detroit by Bridging North America for project owner the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.
The process to transition from the lower pylon to the pylon head, anticipated to be completed in the spring, involves modifications to the jump form systems and concrete pours to construct the upper cross beam that will merge the tower legs into a single structure. Once the transition work is complete, construction begins on the pylon head.
An essential element of the cable-stayed design, anchor boxes within the pylon head will house the cables that will connect the towers to the bridge and decks.
The towers have been under construction since 2019. Each inverted Y-shaped bridge tower is made of cast-in-place reinforced concrete and has been built sequentially through “lifts” or tower leg segments 15.3 feet tall.
Together, the bridge towers and cable system are being constructed to support nearly 34 million pounds of weight. Once completed, the full weight of just one tower will be approximately 66 million pounds.
“Bridging North America has been able to reach this point in the project safely and efficiently and is extremely pleased with the work of our team,” stated Michael Hatchell, CEO of the constructor, in a statement.
“It is an exciting time as the towers, arguably the most visible aspect of construction to date, move into the next and final build phase. With the towers currently standing at over two-thirds of their final 722 feet height, they represent the significant progress the project team has been able to achieve,” added Bryce Phillips, CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.