Windsor’s proposed Gordie Howe International Bridge will begin construction by summer 2018, it has been announced. The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority announced on May 1 that the last contracts for the preparation of the Canadian side of the span have been issued. These contracts are worth US$86-million. Preparatory work at the Canadian port of entry for the bridge, which is planned to span the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, ON, includes removing transmission towers and relocating power transmission cables underground, in concrete-encased duct banks, the authority says. Other towers will be relocated. The Gordie Howe International Bridge was first been proposed in 2004. Last November, the WDBA announced it had issued a request for proposals to three teams chosen through an earlier request-for-qualifications process, for the bridge’s design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance. The RFP process is expected to take 18 months. The bridge will take either the form of a cable-stayed or suspension bridge, with two basic designs still being considered. The team that wins the contract will make the final decision on the bridge’s final form. Earlier this year, the WDBA released plans for a pedestrian and bicycle element to the bridge and both ports of entry. The total cost of the bridge is unknown, though in early 2016, reports indicated that the price tag could come to about C$4.8-billion. The bridge would be the second above-ground crossing between Detroit and Windsor, joining the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. Ambassador owner Manuel ‘Matty’ Moroun has launched several lawsuits in an attempt to stop the new project, which will move traffic away from his bridge, and which is the busiest US-Canadian border crossing in terms of trade volume.