Six teams respond to Detroit Crossing RFQ

Only three of the six will make it to the RFP stage of procurement for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

Six teams comprising US, Canadian and international firms have responded to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) issued on July 20, for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new bridge that will connect Ontario, Canada with Detroit in the US, the procuring agency said in a statement.

“The private sector has shown a vibrant interest in working on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project,” WDBA chairman Mark McQueen said without disclosing respondents’ names. The agency did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the statement, WDBA officials, along with members of the International Authority – a joint US, Canadian entity established in 2012 to oversee and approve the procurement process – as well as other partner organisations will evaluate the responses. The three teams with the highest score will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP), which will be issued at the end of the year.

The project, also known as the New International Trade Crossing, is being developed jointly by the Canadian government and the US state of Michigan since one point of entry is located in the US state of Michigan while the other is in Windsor, Ontario. It will receive funding from Canada, which has already committed C$631 million (€428.6 million; $485.2 million), as well as from the US government and through a public-private partnership (PPP; P3) agreement.

There are four major infrastructure components to the project – a six-lane bridge, border inspection points at both the Canadian and US points of entry, and an interchange connection to Interstate 75 in Michigan.

Established in 2012, WDBA is a non-profit corporation that reports to Canada’s parliament through the transport minister. Its duties include managing the procurement process for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new bridge through a P3. It will also oversee the work of the PPP, manage the concession agreement and payments, and set and collect tolls.

According to Transport Canada, the country’s ministry of transport, the Detroit-Windsor crossing is the most important trade artery and the busiest commercial land border crossing in North America, handling 28 percent of Canada-US trade. It has been described as “the largest and most ambitious binational border infrastructure project” along the Canadian-US border.