TORONTO, Ont. – This week, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the new $2 billion second crossing at Detroit-Windsor will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Gordie Howe is a hockey legend who played in the NHL for 26 seasons. He was number 9 on the Detroit Red Wings and now, his name will bridge the two nations he lived in and entertained for years.
The idea for the name of the bridge came from the Ontario Trucking Association’s David Bradley at a hearing in Lansing in 2010.
“It came straight to mind because what other name is there that unites Canada and the US, and specifically the Windsor-Detroit region?” said Bradley, who is also a hockey fan. “This announcement is about bonding and partnership between our two great nations and Gordie Howe, who has a deep love for Canada as well as the people of Detroit, is a perfect symbol for the enduring strength of Canada-US relations.”
Since then, it wasn’t long before Canadian and US legislators began working to make the name a reality throughout the long, arduous process of getting the public bridge approved.
“It makes my day to think I might have had some small role in all of this,” said Bradley. “It surely didn’t take a genius to come up with the idea; I was just fortunate enough to be part of the lobbying effort for the second crossing and therefore having the opportunity and platform to suggest it.”
He added: “I was told at the time not to get my hopes up – that the naming of something like a bridge is very political and it’s an honour not often bestowed on living beings – so I am thrilled for Gordie and his family that it all worked out. The Prime Minister and the Governor, both of whom have been such great champions of the second crossing, certainly made the right call in my view.”
Howe, 87, is currently recovering from a series of strokes he suffered over the winter.