Officials estimate new international bridge to open in 2024

Officials now estimate that a new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, will open in late 2024.

Construction starts next week on the Gordie Howe International Bridge, named after the late hockey legend.

Officials said Friday that a 36-year contract for the project includes $2.9 billion ($3.8 billion Canadian) to design and build the bridge, as well as about $1.5 billion ($1.9 billion Canadian) to operate and maintain it during that time.

Currently, the privately owned Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel are the only commuter crossings between the two cities. The Detroit-Windsor gateway is the busiest commercial border crossing in North America.

A groundbreaking for advance construction was held in July in Detroit. Officials earlier projected it could open as early as 2020, but that timeline hadn't been expected to hold.