Even with an ongoing UAW strike in progress on September 20, 2023 the EL CENTRAL team found the Ambassador Bridge packed with trucks waiting to clear customs on both sides of the Detroit River.
When the Ambassador Bridge was completed in November of 1929, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. A rail tunnel under the river was completed in 1910 and the Detroit – Windsor Automotive Tunnel was completed in 1930 Now, 93 years after the completion of these engineering wonders, the Gordie Howe International Bridge is reaching completion and Southwest Detroit is about to become the epicenter of another commercial link between two nations.
The path to the construction of this bridge has a long and often bitter history in our community. Lost churches, schools, and homes. Regardless of the history of this project, it is a significant addition to the industrial strength and character of our community. This story simply attempts to capture the scale and engineering of this project.
The photographs are a record of the efforts to cross “Detroit”, the French masculine noun for “strait”. The “Detroit River” is nothing more than a strait or narrowing of the Great Lakes,the world’s largest fresh water system. Crossing the “strait” joins two countries with vastnatural resources and shared history. The photos are the story.
The Research Team
The Human Side of Things
Workers thread cable at approximately 600 feet on September 20, 2023