Hockey great Gordie Howe namesake of planned bridge between Detroit, Canadian city of Windsor

IndustriesAssociated Press

A planned $2.1 billion bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, will be named after hockey great Gordie Howe.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement Thursday in Windsor. The 87-year-old Howe, known as "Mr. Hockey," was born in Saskatchewan and led the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cup championships.

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The yet-to-be built Gordie Howe International Bridge is expected to be operational in 2020.

Authorities want to build the bridge to alleviate congestion along the privately owned Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, which is too tight for tractor-trailers.

Authorities say traffic is impeding trade, but owners of the Ambassador Bridge say adding a span to the current bridge is a better option.

Howe has been undergoing treatment after suffering a significant stroke.