The second bridge that will connect Windsor, Ont. and Detroit, Mich. has officially become an international crossing, as crews completed the installation of the final two edge girders linking the bridge deck on each side of the border.

While the project won't open before next year, an update on construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge says ironworkers and operating engineers marked the milestone on Friday.

The update posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, shows a photo of workers from both countries shaking hands across the border, with the Canada and U.S. flags behind them.

In 2012, former prime minister Stephen Harper announced the construction of the bridge, whose cost has since risen to $6.4 billion, and it was later announced it would be named after the hockey legend who starred for the Detroit Red Wings.

Construction began in 2018, but the project's timetable was pushed back due to construction disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with officials saying in January that the target for completion is now September 2025.

Officials say a "substantial amount of work" remains over the next year, including the re-stressing of stay cables, post-tensioning of the deck and the installation of electrical, fire suppression, drainage systems, barriers, signage, lighting, deck paving and pavement markings.

—With files from The Associated Press