October 13, 2016 11:00 AM, EDT

Will the Gordie Howe Bridge Connecting US, Canada Ever Get Built? 7 Key Facts to Know

Starley Shelton/Flickr

A second bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, is closer to becoming reality. This week, Canada's ambassador to the United States said his fellow Canadian officials are within weeks of issuing a long-awaited request for proposals that will seek a team to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge and disrupt the Ambassador Bridge's long-standing bridge monopoly.

RELATED: Ambassador Bridge owners sued over second span location

Here's what has been happening:

  • Once the request for proposals goes out, the winning team of new bridge architects, engineers and contractors could be picked by 2018.
  • The design and construction phases could then take about four years. That means the Gordie Howe wouldn't open until at least 2021 — or later unless time can be made up.
  • The bridge would be about 2 miles downstream from the Ambassador Bridge.
  • Last week, the state of Michigan filed the first so-called condemnation lawsuit against a large property owner to acquire land for the bridge. An attorney for the property in southwest Detroit's Delray neighborhood — the First Latin American Baptist Church — said the state's earlier $411,000 offer is too low because the church needs at least $2 million to relocate.
  • All told, the state needs to buy an estimated 673 parcels in Delray for the bridge. That would cost an estimated $370 million.
  • The biggest and trickiest land acquisition would be portions of a 42-acre trucking terminal at 7701 W. Jefferson Ave. This property belongs to Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun and his family. And Moroun's son, Matthew, recently pledged to fight any attempt by the state to take this land for the Gordie Howe bridge, which would compete with their bridge.
  • Canada still intends to pay for building the Gordie Howe bridge and to recoup its investment through the future toll money. The bridge has been described as a $2 billion project, but media reports suggest its costs could be higher.

RELATED: Michigan wants Moroun Trucking terminal for Gordie Howe Bridge