The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, September 21, 2018

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

New details on Gordie Howe Bridge

A great deal of demolition, utility and civil work has already taken place in preparation of construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, on both sides of the Detroit River.

Now, we have an idea of the length of time it will take to build the bridge, a potential starting date, as well as the cost. The bridge is expected to open to vehicular traffic in November 2024, and cost an estimated $2.68 billion.

The time estimate was released Aug. 29 by Bridging North America General Partnership, the group of international construction firms selected to build the six-lane, 1.55-mile long cable-stayed bridge across the Detroit River. The 2024 date is two years later than previous estimates.

The details are included in a Global Market Intelligence report by credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's as part of the bridge construction group's effort to secure financing. The report said that construction of the bridge itself, about two miles downriver from the Ambassador Bridge, could start as early as Sept. 29.

In addition to the bridge, construction will include a 148-acre U.S. Port of Entry complex, which includes border inspection facilities for passenger and commercial vehicles and maintenance. A 131-acre Canadian Port of Entry complex will include border inspection and maintenance facilities, as well as tolling operations for both the U.S. and Canada-bound traffic.

Also in Detroit, the Michigan Interchange will include construction of approach roads to the U.S. Point of Entry. It will include four new road bridges, five new pedestrian bridges, and four long bridges crossing a railway and connecting to highway I-75.

The Canadian government is paying for the construction of the bridge, and will be reimbursed through bridge tolls. The span will be co-owned by the Canadian and Michigan governments.

Damning evidence in 1900 Sherwin memo

Sherwin-Williams paints have been brushed and rolled on walls and ceilings in the United States for well over a century. 

Like numerous other paint manufacturers, their product contained lead, a substance which was banned from paint by the federal government in 1978. 

But now Sherwin-Williams and two other companies involved in marketing and manufacturing lead paint in California, ConAgra Grocery Products and NI. Industries Inc., are appealing a $1.15 billion penalty ordered by a trail court in that state in 2014 that said the companies promoted and sold the lead-based paint for several decades, even though they knew it was hazardous. The U.S. Supreme Court is now being asked to take up the case.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Sherwin-Williams and the other defendants said they were unaware of the health risks of lead paint before it was outlawed. However, the State of California argued that they did know about the hazards of lead, citing a 1900 Sherwin Williams internal communication that described white lead that was used in their paint as "deadly cumulative poison."

If the Supreme Court upholds the penalty, the money would go toward removing health hazards posed by lead paint in homes.