WINNER: Innovative Management – Large Project
Freight and commuters were delivered a direct access from local freeways to the Ambassador Bridge into Canada – the busiest international border crossing in North America – thanks to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project.
Twenty-three percent of all commercial trade between the U.S. and Canada makes use of the Ambassador Bridge via I-75 and I-96. One of the project’s key functions was to provide direct access between freeways and the privately owned Ambassador Bridge.
The entire project involved the closure of two major freeways, the construction of the state’s first cable-stayed bridge and high occupancy vehicle lanes, reconstruction of the mainline and ramps on I-75 and I-96 and contract work totaling more than $230 million.
During the planning stage, Michigan DOT met with project stakeholders and decided to divide the project into four contracts, which allowed the project to begin construction while right-of-way negotiations took place with the federal government and the private bridge owners.
The project also used innovative design features and employed an extensive public information campaign throughout the project.