New Toll Lanes, New Prox Card Software

Aug. 7, 2015 – New toll lanes, featuring new software, improved convenience for bridge customers, and new frequent user discount toll rates, are set to open Monday night at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge.

Contractors and International Bridge Administration (IBA) staff will begin opening the new toll lanes at 10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, and expect to have two southbound and two northbound lanes available by Tuesday morning, Aug. 11. Toll traffic should not be impacted as the new lanes come online.

IBA officials expect all three permanent northbound lanes and two permanent southbound lanes to be fully functional by Wednesday, Aug. 12. The remaining two permanent southbound lanes are slated to go online in late September after the demolition of the old IBA administration building. When complete, the toll plaza will have four southbound and three northbound lanes. (more…)

International Bridge Lighting Upgrade Moves Forward

July 17, 2015 – It will be lights out on the International Bridge arches next week as a cost-saving lighting replacement project prepares to take a highly visible step forward.

The International Bridge Authority (IBA) will be replacing the white lights that have illuminated the nighttime sky on top of the bridge’s three curved steel arches for decades. The replacement will begin next week and be complete by mid-August.

The electrical circuits feeding the current white arch lights will be turned off on Monday to allow the replacement to proceed.

“This short period where the white arch lights will no longer be lit for bridge viewers is a step toward some long-term savings for the International Bridge,” said IBA General Manager Phil Becker. “The new lighting system will improve the bridge’s appearance while cutting energy and maintenance costs.” (more…)

Sault Bridge Installing LED Road and Arch Lighting

Fast Facts:

  • Energy-efficient LED bulbs are replacing older fixtures on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge.
  • LEDs are as much as 20 percent more effective in illuminating the roadway – increasing visibility and customer safety.
  • Both the U.S. and Canadian arches will get a colorful lighting change starting in August.

June 23, 2015 – International Bridge customers and residents of the sister cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario may have recently noticed things are getting a little brighter crossing the border as the pole-mounted lights along the bridge deck traffic lanes get an upgrade.

“This lighting upgrade project is certainly focused on energy savings and efficiency,” said Bridge Engineer Karl Hansen, “LEDs are as much as 20 percent more effective in illuminating the roadway. That increases driver visibility and customer safety.” (more…)

Falcons hatch at International Bridge

Falcons hatch at International Bridge

Fast Facts:

  • A pair of peregrine falcons has successfully nested on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, where the birds have been returning for years.
  • Four chicks have hatched this year and have been banded by DNR biologists.
  • The peregrine falcon is listed as an endangered species in Michigan.

Karl Hansen, bridge engineer for the International Bridge Administration (IBA), reported that pair of peregrine falcons have successfully nested atop the bridge between the U.S. and Canada this spring, hatching four chicks.

Four peregrine falcon eggs shown at the nest box on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge this spring. (IBA photo)

Four peregrine falcon eggs shown at the nest box on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge this spring. (IBA photo)

June 18, 2015 – A pair of regular visitors to the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge have made the trip again this year – and they’re staying to raise their family.

IBA General Manager Phil Becker said the bridge’s steeplejacks closely watch for the falcons to return each year.

“As time allows, they monitor the nest without disturbing the birds,” Becker said. “Our staff really looks forward to the return of the birds and waits with great anticipation for the occasional reports coming in from our steeplejacks on the growth of the chicks.”

The reports this year have been excellent.

The four peregrine falcon chicks – three female and one male –  successfully hatched. (IBA photo)

The four peregrine falcon chicks – three female and one male –
successfully hatched. (IBA photo)

All four young birds – three females and one male – were successfully banded Tuesday by biologists from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). According to DNR wildlife biologist Kristie Sitar, color-coded bands attached to the legs of young birds allow scientists to track the movements, reproductive behavior and population growth of the falcons. (more…)

International Bridge Toll Plaza Construction Update #4

June 4, 2015 — The International Bridge Administration (IBA) started summer construction of the remaining toll lanes for the $8.9 million toll plaza construction project. The IBA is replacing the 52-year-old toll plaza and office building to improve customer service, plaza safety, and efficiency.