Soo Bridge Celebrates 50 Years… (excerpt from

Soo Bridge Celebrates 50 Years, Ambassador Bridge Fights, and the Mighty Mac Separates

Article Excerpt: June 27, 2012 (for the full article, please visit -

 A few weeks ago I was visiting my camp and on the wall I saw a photo of my grandfather, Yrjö Petäinen.  The photo was taken by my father, Matti Petäinen, from the early 1970s as Yrjö stood at the base of the International Bridge.  At that time the bridge was about 10 years old, and by now that location is probably inaccessible, and such a photo would be frowned upon.   As I was looking at the photo with my uncle, my father’s brother, he noted the strong artistic contrast in the photo itself.  It was more than just any photo; the photo was also about family and of art.  But, if I was to take the liberty and extend the idea of “contrast” just a bit further, the photo reminds me that bridges can generate ideas of co-operation, conflict and commerce.

The International Bridge:  A Gateway of Co-operation

This year the International Bridge is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  On a 2 mile path…

To read the full article by Kai Petainen, Contributor for Forbes, please visit Soo Bridge Celebrates 50 Years, Ambassador Bridge Fights, and the Mighty Mac Separates, or

International Bridge under Canadian Approach - Yrjö Petäinen

Yrjö Petäinen (1974-1978), Photo by Matti Petäinen

Not Just Another Bridge

International Bridge - August 8, 2012

The International Bridge at the Sault is not just another bridge, not to me.  I crossed the bridge with my father the very first time when I was 12 years old.  Next week will mark my 26th consecutive trip across the great bridge into Ontario.



When the Veteran licence plates were issued to Canadian Veterans, my husband Richard had his on our vehicle. The first time we crossed the Border, the Customs Officer in the booth did something I will remember forever…


Then and Now

Photograph of the Locks from 19591959 Photograph of the Locks from 20092009

In 2009, the Chippewa County Historical Society decided to produce a photo exhibit and book with the theme of “Then and Now.” We had a good collection of historical photos of  the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, area, and we selected 36 interesting images to try to re-photograph, from the same perspective, to show how things have changed — or in a few cases, how little things have changed. One of the photos we wanted to use was taken in 1959 from the upper level of the International (Railroad) Bridge, looking east over the Soo Locks. Our best choice in 2009 to try to duplicate the perspective was to shoot from the top of  the girders of the International (Car and Truck) Bridge. Fortunately, General Manager Phil Becker arranged for me to take part in an “Arch Tour” on a beautiful morning in late June, 2009. This was a great experience; six other novices and I were accompanied by two bridge workers. Wearing safety harnesses, we walked up the girder to the first peak on the U. S. side, where I shot the picture for the “Then and Now” book.

Photo of the shadows on the bridgeOn the way back down the girder, on of my fellow “girder groupies” pointed out that our shadows on the roadway below would make an interesting picture as well. And indeed, it struck me as a fine memento of our adventure.  You can see my shadow on the far left as I took the picture. I don’t know how often “Arch Tours” are offered, but don’t pass up the chance if one comes your way!