Gordie Howe International Bridge wins sustainable infrastructure award

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project has been awarded an Envision Platinum Award, the highest distinction from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

An independent peer-review process saw the project evaluated across 60 sustainability criteria. ISI recognizes efforts to achieve sustainable development and environmental performance standards at every stage of an infrastructure project, from design to construction and implementation.

Gordie Howe bridge 2

“We are proud to share the prestigious Envision Platinum Award. Through a collaborative process with WDBA, our staff developed key performance indicators with sustainability objectives that led to increased levels of achievement across the Envision rating system,” said Michael Hatchell, CEO, Bridging North America.

“It is an honour to be recognized with the highest possible distinction for our commitment to the environment and sustainable infrastructure.”

Key sustainability features of the project include:

  • 100 per cent of the project is located on previously developed lands, with part of it being located on a former (remediated) brownfield site
  • a new prairie habitat and habitat for pollinators will be provided, a peregrine falcon box will be installed and thousands of trees will be planted
  • to address the risk of increased intensity and severity of precipitation over time, the project includes stormwater ponds, low-impact development, and bioswales that manage stormwater going into the public system or entering the waterway
  • transportation benefits that address climate change and regional development will be realized including relief of traffic congestion of freight trucks in nearby neighbourhoods on both sides of the bridge, improved border processing for freight and travellers with highway-to-highway connectivity, and connectivity of existing routes and creation of safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists
  • a comprehensive Community Benefits Plan is being delivered
  • thousands of direct and indirect jobs are being created both during the design-build

“This project is a symbol of international cooperation between two great countries. It provides proof that when we work together collaboratively and learn from each other, we can achieve outcomes that benefit people, the planet, and improve economic prosperity,” said Melissa Peneycad, managing director, Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.

“The degree to which sustainability has been baked into the design and decision-making processes of this project is impressive. The team deserves to be commended for leadership in sustainability.”

The four components of Gordie Howe International Bridge project make it one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America. The bridge and Michigan Interchange are designed to meet the Envision Platinum rating. The Canadian and US Ports of Entry are designed to meet LEED v4 Silver rating.

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