February 12, 2015 – Flags will be flown at half-staff at the International Bridge in honor of Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority (SSMBA) Chairman James McIntyre, who died Wednesday, Feb. 11, as the result of an accident.
Phil Becker, general manager of the International Bridge Administration (IBA), said the thoughts and prayers of SSMBA board members past and present, bridge staff, representatives from the Federal Bridge Corporation Ltd., and the Michigan Department of Transportation are with McIntyre’s family and friends.
“Our sadness is difficult to express as we consider the loss of our friend and colleague Jim McIntyre,” Becker said. “Jim’s passion for the bridge has had a profound impact on the bridge and the many people involved with it over its 52 years of existence. Our respect for Jim’s integrity — as expressed many times in his firm but fair approach to bridge business — is beyond measure.”
Above all, Becker said, McIntyre was a gentlemen who beneath his “take care of business” exterior possessed a very caring and compassionate heart.
McIntyre’s involvement with the bridge spans more than a half-century, starting when he was mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, from 1960-1964. Since then, McIntyre served on the board of the St. Mary’s River Bridge Company (SMRBC), the Canadian board of directors representing the federal government interests in the governance and operation of the bridge. McIntyre served as president of SMRBC for decades, and was the first chairperson of the Joint International Bridge Authority (JIBA), the bi-national bridge governance board established in 2000. He served a number of one-year terms as the chair of the JIBA. In November 2014, he was selected as 2015 chair of SSMBA, the successor governance board to the JIBA. It was his second annual term as SSMBA chairman.
“He cared deeply about the bridge and what it meant to the sister cities of Sault Ste. Marie,” Becker said. “He was gifted with an exceptional memory recall, which was called upon many times at board meetings and bridge discussions. He freely invested a great amount of time and effort to make our unique bi-national bridge operation and governance model a success.”
Becker expressed deep gratitude for McIntyre’s long legacy of service to the International Bridge.
“We are especially grateful to his family for the support and sacrifices they provided to allow Jim to pursue his passion,” Becker said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this tremendous loss.”
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge:
Bridging Our Past, Connecting Our Future