Photo by BrandSafway
Brand Safway Gordie Howe
Brand Safway Gordie Howe
Brand Safway Gordie Howe
Brand Safway Gordie Howe
Brand Safway Gordie Howe

BrandSafway Major Projects Group Delivers Forming and Access on Gordie Howe International Bridge

March 10, 2021
Several BrandSafway companies are working together to deliver comprehensive access, scaffolding and forming solutions for the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge between the U.S. and Canada.

 Several BrandSafway companies are working together to deliver comprehensive access, scaffolding and forming solutions for the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Once construction is finished, the six-lane (three lanes to Canada and three to the U.S.) cable-stayed bridge will have a clear span of 853 meters (0.53 miles) — the longest of any cable-stayed bridge in North America.

Aluma Systems by BrandSafway is providing formwork, falsework, stair towers and access platforms to support the concrete pours for the main pylon footings. This includes custom preassembled formwork panels for the footings, caisson collars, crane foundations, the pylon starters, and a base platform for access, storage and the temporary elevators surrounding each pylon.

“The project presented several technical challenges,” said Anthony DeFrancesco, a sales representative for Aluma Systems. “The foundation shape was unique, requiring formwork that could be ‘jumped’ and reused for different configurations.”

AlumaSafway, a BrandSafway company, is providing access stairs as well as an elevator on the Canada bridge site in Windsor, Ontario. BrandSafway is supplying the elevator on the United States bridge site in Detroit. The two elevators will provide access for on-site personnel along the height of the main pylons and to the jump form systems during construction.

“The elevator mast had to match the bridge pylon geometry, which includes a lower inclined structure, a curved portion and then a vertical ascent,” said Alex Di Domenico, managing director of the Major Projects Group for BrandSafway. “We had to engineer a specialized elevator cabin with an automatic leveling mechanism to compensate for the changing mast angle, so the floor of the cabin remains horizontal no matter where it is on the inclined or curved sections.”

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), a Canadian Crown corporation, is responsible for the delivery of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, through a public-private partnership. Its private-sector partner Bridging North America began working on the project in 2018. Once completed, the new bridge will be among the top five longest bridges in North America at a total length of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles). In addition to providing much-needed cross-border capacity for commercial and personal vehicles at the busiest trade corridor between Canada and the United States, the bridge will include a dedicated multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

“It is a pleasure to work with BNA personnel, who share our commitment to safety as the first priority,” said Robert Fallowfield, director of business development for Aluma Systems.

BrandSafway’s Major Projects Group provides permanent and temporary access solutions for the North American infrastructure market segment. “We work closely with the customer to develop comprehensive solutions that provide maximum safety and productivity,” said Di Domenico. “Planning, engineering, execution and management are streamlined with a single point of contact, leading to substantial improvement in overall efficiency and reduced labor costs. With our track record, which includes the recent execution of several high-profile bridge projects, such as the new Samuel de Champlain Bridge in Montreal, the Sam Houston Ship Channel Bridge in Houston and the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, we are in a competitive position to offer solutions under a single roof."