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Success Story | AECOM Enhances US-Canada Border Crossing with Michigan Interstate-75 Interchange Improvements

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Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge over the Bosphorus strait



Detroit, Michigan, United States


Streamlining the Michigan I-75 Border Crossing into Canada

As a member of Bridging North America, AECOM was hired as design lead on an infrastructure project to enhance the border crossing from Detroit, Michigan, United States into Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The project, being delivered for Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, has four primary components including the Gordie Howe International Bridge, which will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, as well as new U.S. and Canadian ports of entry and the widening of an interchange on Michigan Interstate-75 (I-75). With the project team dispersed across 16 locations, in multiple countries, design collaboration was always a priority. Expanding the I-75 interchange involves the addition of four road bridges, five pedestrian bridges, 12 ramps, and improvements to local roads within the two miles that connect the highway to the U.S. Port of Entry. The interchange also included the design of a complex enclosed drainage system.

A Scattered Team Necessitates an Integrated Solution

In addition to coordinating I-75 interchange design among 150 geographically distributed staff, AECOM incorporated feedback from community partners, construction teams, and subcontractors. The ability to incorporate real-time design edits was accomplished with the use of a robust cloud-based platform that could both integrate and manage the detailed multidiscipline 3D design data.

Image: Courtesy of AECOM

Multidiscipline Design Team Collaborates on 3D Model

AECOM determined that Bentley applications could help them meet all project goals on the Interchange project. They used OpenRoads Designer and MicroStation to create multiple roadway alignments and drainage system plans. With ProjectWise 365, they connected all files, models, and sheets so that the globally distributed team could make updates swiftly and easily. With the open applications, specialty designers concurrently worked on the interchange model. Whether design changes were made among the dispersed design team, the client, external stakeholders, or the construction team, the connected data environment made everyone confident that they were working from or reviewing the most recent design iteration.

Going Digital Speeds Design Time

By facilitating real-time, global collaboration on the large-scale I-75 interchange project in a cloud-based environment, AECOM delivered the design by the client’s deadline. Digital workflows reduced overall design time by 12% and the project’s carbon footprint by 5%. Upon completion of the I-75 interchange and the Gordie Howe International Bridge, traffic congestion at the busiest commercial land border crossing between the United States and Canada will be reduced. Increased access at the border and a smoother crossing of products, services, and people are expected to benefit the economies of both countries.

Image: Courtesy of AECOM


  • The Michigan I-75 Interchange design includes four new road bridges, five new pedestrian bridges, four interchanges ramps, and local road improvements.
  • The primary component of the project is the Gordie Howe International Bridge, which will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.
  • Using Bentley’s ProjectWise cloud instance, AECOM enabled collaboration among globally dispersed design teams within 16 separate offices.
  • Implementing digital workflows within a connected data environment cut design time by 12% and reduced the carbon footprint by 5%.

“At AECOM, we’re harnessing the power of digital technology and innovation to accelerate project delivery, solve social and environmental challenges, and drive effective asset management. Digital design techniques facilitate design coordination and enhance project collaboration. The use of Bentley’s tools for the I-75 design allowed us to focus on the integrity of the design, communications with stakeholders across the wider project, and collaboration within our specialty design teams. It gave us the assurance that the latest design iterations were available the moment they were updated from anywhere and at any time.”

Peter Byrne
Vice President, Alternative Delivery

Image: Courtesy of AECOM

Download the success story as PDF to learn more about the project

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