International bridge to be named after legendary Gordie Howe

A new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., will be named after Gordie Howe.
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Forget Mr. Hockey. Next time you see Gordie Howe, you can call him Mr. Bridge.

A planned span crossing the Detroit River and connecting Windsor, Ont. to Detroit will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge in honor of the 87-year-old Red Wings legend.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement on Thursday at a press conference in Windsor.

“Mr. Hockey, one of the greatest players in the history of the game, is a proud Canadian who led the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cup victories, building extraordinary goodwill between our two countries,” Harper said in a release. “It is my sincere hope that this bridge, which bears his name, will continue this proud legacy.”

Gordie Howe stick-handling again after stroke

The bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020 at a cost of more than $2 billion, will have a significant economic impact on both countries. The outdated Ambassador Bridge that currently connects the two cities is the busiest international border crossing in North America, facilitating more than 25% of all trade between the United States and Canada. The new bridge is expected to significantly outpace that performance.

And if it helps cut the drive time for Windsor fans wanting to head to Detroit to catch a Wings game, so much the better.

GALLERY: Rare Photos of Gordie Howe