Local Benefits Key In Bridge Building Proposals

President and CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority Michael Cautillo (right) and WDBA Chair of the Board Dwight Duncan (left) at the WDBA Annual Public Meeting, April 28, 2017. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority wants to make sure any company building the new Gordie Howe International Bridge includes benefits to the local community.

“Think of better sewer lines underground that you can’t see that can accommodate the neighbourhoods and landscaping on the site itself,” explains Board Chair Dwight Duncan. “Stormwater retention ponds and things of that nature.”

The WDBA unveiled its Community Benefit Framework at its annual public meeting Friday.

It says each proposal will have to include components that live up to the acronym, ICARE, which stands for Integrated Collaborative Accessible Regional Enterprising.

“I think those who have had the opportunity to use the bikeways and the walkways on the [Rt. Hon. Herb Gray] Pkwy., understand kind of what that can mean for the community when we get this right,” adds Duncan.

The WDBA hopes to choose a public sector partner and have construction underway on the Canadian and US border plazas by May or June of 2018.

Although it only has 60% of the land needed for the project on the American side, President and CEO of the WDBA Michael Cautillo says construction on the bridge itself could start just weeks after work on the plazas.