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Windsor, Ontario — Renderings show that the $5.7 billion, six-lane Gordie Howe International Bridge project will be an expansive marvel and longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority presented the latest renderings to an audience of about 50 people during a community meeting at Mackenzie Hall on Sandwich Street on Tuesday.

"We want a high-level aesthetic quality day and night, close and far," said Heather Grondin, vice president of communications and stakeholder relations for the bridge authority. "There also will be aesthetics for landscaping at the ports of entry, but they will not outweigh over function. We want it to be easy to navigate but also aesthetically pleasing."

Posted around the room were about 20 poster boards with information and bridge renderings.

The span will feature a white color, LED lighting and towers that will incline toward each other until the meet high above the bridge deck. Its lifespan is projected to be 125 years.  

But it won’t be ready to cross until the end of 2024, officials said.

"People may not see the work being done but that doesn't mean that we're not working," Grondin said. "We're preparing the site, doing underground work and making sure it is being constructed in the right way."

Asked if there have been any surprises yet, she replied, "We just wrapped up the procurement process and they're just starting to do the hiring. There are dozens of jobs posted and things are going as expected." She added, "It's early days yet."

The bridge authority announced in September that it had a $5.7 billion, fixed-priced contract with Bridging North America to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new bridge.

The official start of construction began Oct. 5.

Bridging North America was selected as the Preferred Proponent following an evaluation of proposals submitted by three proponent teams invited to participate in the Request for Proposals stage.

Partners in the bridge project include the Canadian government, the U.S. government and Michigan.

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