Bridging two countries: the Gordie Howe International Bridge

The longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project is the largest and most ambitious infrastructure project along the Canada-United States border. It has four main components: the bridge, ports of entry in Canada and the US, and the Michigan Interchange. Once complete, the bridge will be the longest cable-stayed bridge span in North America. It is being built using an environmentally friendly blend of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood fibers to build the deck, and will be the longest composite-deck, cable-stayed bridge in North America.

The bridge is being built under a P3 model. The Design-Build team is Dragados Canada, Fluor, and AECON. Design is being led by AECOM.

Thurber has been involved on this project in a geotechnical role: we provided supplementary investigation for the Design-Build team, geotechnical design of the foundations and embankments for the Main Span Bridge, Canadian Approach, and Canadian Port of Entry, preloading, geostructural analysis of the main foundation, and liquefaction assessment. We also carried out rigorous numerical finite element modelling using Plaxis 3D to examine complex structural demands caused by soil-structure interaction of the bridge foundation structure.

Photos courtesy of