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April 28, 2022

Sustainable Engineering from Parsons – the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project

Sustainable Engineering from Parsons - the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project

The Gordie Howe International Bridge Project is a new international trade crossing over the Detroit River connecting the state of Michigan with the province of Ontario.?This 853-meter crossing, with a new interchange with Interstate 75 and two new ports of entry, will be delivered through a public-private partnership.  Slated for completion in 2024, the project’s design incorporates bypassing city streets to reduce congestion and improve the flow of commercial and passenger traffic between the United States and Canada. The sustainability strategy includes an overall sustainability management plan as well as third-party evaluation and certification tools evaluate performance of the project in two parts: the Port of Entry (POE) (vertical infrastructure) and the Main bridge and Michigan Interchange (horizontal/transportation infrastructure). 

As the Owner’s Engineer for Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), Parsons was responsible for the development and management of sustainability process and technical performance requirements for the project developer. These include developing prescriptive and performance requirements for pursuing the LEED BD+C: NC and LEED O+M: EB certification for the Port of Entry plaza buildings in Canada and the United States as well as Envision program certification for the bridge across the Detroit River and all associated horizontal infrastructure components of the project (approaches, interchange, etc.).  

As part of WDBA’s GEC team, Parsons developed the sustainability contractual requirements for the Port of Entry, the main bridge, and associated highway interchange which outline the required level of certification, mandated credits, administrative and personnel requirements, project deliverables by phase, comment/response process, and key performance indicators. Parsons also assessed Developer proposals for compliance with sustainability components, provided technical guidance to the Design-Build and operational teams and provided oversight for the implementation and documentation of sustainability activities for LEED and Envision certifications. 

Parsons along with WDBA made key contributions to the Envision credit documentation, facilitating the project’s achievement of a Platinum award from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), which was announced in December 2021. 

To learn more about Parsons’ innovative and sustainable solutions for complex bridge projects, please visit:

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April 28, 2022



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