Everything Detroit

Why Is There A Tree In the Middle of Detroit’s Gordie Howe Bridge?

We’ve all watched the progress on the Gordie Howe Bridge over the past couple of years - and now the United States and Canadian sides are connected, with the project on track to finish in September of next year. It's been amazing to watch this happen here in the Motor City (and Canada) - but we've got a question: But what’s up with the tree on the Gordie Howe Bridge?  We were checking the amazing photos from June 15th and noticed a tree in the middle of the bridge. Why? It’s a very cool tradition between Ironworkers.  The Gordie Howe International Bridge crew posing with the symbolic tree in the middle between US and Canada. It’s called “Topping Out,” dating back over 1,000 years. Topping out symbolizes a connection, and the evergreen tree indicates that a job has been done well. It's a cherished custom that Ironworkers say brings “good luck”. More than 200 ironworkers and operating engineers from Canada and the US were on the deck for the ceremony, where an evergreen tree was placed on a redundancy girder alongside flags representing Ironworkers 700 and Ironworkers Local 25 unions. Iron Workers 25 is holding up the symbolic tree on the final piece, connecting the two sides of the Gordie Howe Bridge between Detroit and Windsor. The six-lane structure across our beloved Detroit River (which will have paths for cyclists and pedestrians, by the way) will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America at almost 2,800 feet (technically, it’s 2,798 feet). If you include the ports of entry and approach structures, we’re talking a mile and a half total.  Great idea for the Gordie Howe Bridge  The recent Detroit News article referred to a question about the international border being referred to as the “blue line” in honor of Gordie and the Red Wings (hockey reference if you don’t know). This is a GREAT idea and ties into the celebration of Mr. Hockey’s 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Maybe if you get pulled over at the border, they put you in a “penalty box”? Can commercial vehicles use the “Production Line” to cross over?  Iron Workers 25 is holding up the symbolic tree on the final piece, connecting the two sides of the Gordie Howe Bridge between Detroit and Windsor. The bottom line is that the Gordie Howe Bridge is beautiful, and we can’t wait to see it completed next September. Maybe they should leave a couple of branches from the tree for luck. [select-listicle listicle_id="821174" syndication_name="favorite-michigan-sports-illustrated-covers" description="yes"]

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