Massive steel beams are shown at the construction site of the Gordie Howe International Bridge on Jan. 7, 2019. Expect traffic disruptions as Ojibway Parkway is slated for a number of overnight closures to accommodate construction of an overpass portion of the project.
Dan Janisse / Windsor Star
Representatives from Ontario trucking industry last week were able to provide input toward the final design for the Gordie Howe International Bridge they hope can help better fast track the movement of goods across the Windsor-Detroit border.Staff and chairman for the Ontario Trucking Association sat in on a roundtable discussion with the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure Francois-Phillipe Champagne.“The key for this project from my perspective is to ensure the physical movement of drivers, trucks and freight keeps pace with the electronic transfer of information to provide for an efficient border process,” said OTA chairman David Carruth.“The groundwork has been laid with various border programs at crossings across North America, and we now have the opportunity, working with our border partners, to incorporate the best of these technologies and processes.”High on the list, he said, is ensuring there will be sufficient infrastructure to support the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) border clearance program and an electronic tolling system coordinated with other systems widely used elsewhere by truckers.Also high on the list of features requested by the trucking association were sufficient space for on-site inspection facilities, plus allowing dangerous goods and oversized shipments to use the new Howe bridge.“(The bridge authority) is off to a great collaborative start with their willingness to engage OTA and its members in how the bridge can best be designed to accommodate drivers, trucks and freight,” Carruth said. “We look forward to continued dialogue. It’s not often we have a project of this magnitude where we can have a direct impact.”Early construction and final design got underway in the fall for the Howe bridge project, which includes a new six-lane cable-stayed bridge, plazas and new three-kilometre feeder road in Detroit to link with the I-75 freeway.The bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in the fall of email@example.com