Community Benefits Plan for Gordie Howe International Bridge Project Announced
Windsor, Ontario • Today, representatives from the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), its private-sector partner Bridging North America (BNA) as well as the State of Michigan and the Government of Canada, unveiled a comprehensive and robust Community Benefits Plan for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.
The Community Benefits Plan is generously financed by Canada, as is the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project in its entirety. The initiatives described in the plan are the culmination of a several year-long and extraordinary public-private partnership, one that has promoted trust-building, collaboration and consultation among many community stakeholders and governmental entities. Spearheaded by the WDBA and BNA, with Michigan actively involved in all phases of its development, the Community Benefits Plan ensures that people in the communities most directly impacted by the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will be among its truest beneficiaries.
The plan is comprised of two components: the Workforce Development and Participation Strategy and the Neighborhood Infrastructure Strategy.
The Workforce Development and Participation Strategy is geared towards engaging businesses and providing employment opportunities including workforce development, training and pre-apprenticeship/ apprenticeships. Collectively there are more than 40 partners helping to deliver the 80 workforce initiatives (for Windsor, Detroit and Canadian Indigenous Peoples). Some highlights of the plan include:
- The implementation of a Regional Small Business Purchase Protocol to foster growth of small companies in the region.
- Partnerships with local workforce development agencies to encourage applications from local applicants for jobs, training and skill development opportunities.
- Support to pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship programs and opportunities for Indigenous women, students and youth.
The Neighborhood Infrastructure Strategy is a $20 million (CDN) direct community investment on both sides of the border developed with public feedback and input. Collectively, 30 initiatives and 28 delivery partners located in Windsor, Detroit and Walpole Island are identified in the strategy. Some highlights of the plan include:
- Approximately $8.1 million for aesthetics and landscaping.
- Approximately $3.5 million for community safety and connection.
- Approximately $2.2 million for community partnerships.
- Approximately $1.2 million for economic benefits.
The WDBA and the State of Michigan are deeply committed to the successful delivery of the Community Benefits Plan. Stringent oversight protocols are in place to make sure this happens in close collaboration with the residents of Windsor and Detroit.
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge is yet another historic example of what we can accomplish when we work together to find a solution that benefits everyone. We all know that the communities on each side of the border will be a strong anchor point for this project, which is why this announcement today to invest in these areas is so critical. This is a real opportunity to create thousands and thousands of jobs and strengthen our economic ties with our neighbors to drive growth in the surrounding communities for generations to come.”
- Gretchen Whitmer, Governor, State of Michigan
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge will positively impact the flow of traffic and goods, help businesses get their goods to market, and make it more efficient for travellers, commuters and shoppers to cross the border. In addition to the 2,500 direct jobs Bridging North America expects to be created by the project, the comprehensive Community Benefits Plan announced today will have wide-ranging positive social, economic and environmental impacts on Windsor-Essex and Detroit including targeted workforce development initiatives that will foster training, business opportunities, and local employment for workers including First Nations, youth and women.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan is uniquely ambitious and is a result of significant community consultation held over a four-year period. The plan’s initiatives are designed so that the people located most directly adjacent to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will be among its truest beneficiaries. The Community Benefits Plan will help to create jobs and better local communities.”
- Bryce Phillips, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority
“Bridging North America recognizes the importance of partnering with local stakeholders, businesses, associations, unions, First Nations and educational institutions for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. These partnerships will help to strengthen the local economy, create jobs and training opportunities, and ensure the success of the project during its design, construction and operation.”
- Aaron Epstein, CEO, Bridging North America
- Building off the consultation feedback received from 2015-2018, an additional six-month targeted consultation period was implemented from October 2018-March 2019. More than 70 meetings were attended by over 1000 stakeholders.
- A local community group will be formed as informal partners in the implementation of the Community Benefits Plan initiatives.
- Public Information Meetings will be held on day, June 25, 2019, in Windsor, Ontario and day, June 26, 2019, in Detroit, Michigan, where details of the Community Benefits Plan will be discussed.
- Backgrounder: Community Benefits Overview
- Backgrounder: Consultation and Engagement Process
- 9 Things to Know About Workforce Development and Participation Strategy
- 9 Things to Know About Neighborhood Infrastructure Strategy
- 9 Things to Know About Integrated Benefits
- 9 Things to Know About Mitigation
- Statement from the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
ABOUT WINDSOR-DETROIT BRIDGE AUTHORITY
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) is a not-for-profit Canadian Crown corporation created to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project between Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI through a public- private partnership (P3). WDBA is responsible for overseeing and managing the construction and operation of the new crossing. For more information on WDBA visit www.GordieHoweInternationalBridge.com and follow the project on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GordieHoweBrg.
ABOUT BRIDGING NORTH AMERICA
Bridging North America is comprised of some of the most recognized leaders in the construction/infrastructure industry which includes North American and international companies. BridgingNA partners have significant experience carrying out major infrastructure projects such as the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway in Windsor, Ontario; New Champlain Bridge Corridor in Montreal, Quebec; Autoroute 30 in Montreal, Quebec; Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto, Ontario; Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) in Montreal, Quebec; Automated People Mover at LAX Airport, California; Harbour Bridge and Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
ABOUT MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for Michigan's 9,669-mile state highway system, comprised of all M, I, and US routes. MDOT also administers other state and federal transportation programs for aviation, intercity passenger services, rail freight, local public transit services, the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF), and others.