Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority honors former chairman James McIntyre

Fast facts:
The Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority (SSMBA) board of directors named their new board room in honor of longtime board member and past chairman James McIntyre.
– The board held its second meeting today in the board room of the new International Bridge administration building.
– The annual and fracture critical bridge inspections found ongoing maintenance is keeping the bridge in good condition.
– The board received updates on two planned bridge maintenance projects.

February 11, 2016 — The Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority (SSMBA) board has named the board room at the new International Bridge administration building in honor of the late James L. McIntyre.

The bi-national body, which supervises operations of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, adopted a resolution naming the board room after McIntyre and made plans to unveil a commemorative plaque in the room at its May meeting.

“Jim’s unparalleled commitment as a volunteer to the bridge for a period of 55 years established a legacy of outstanding service to the binational governance of the bridge,” the resolution said. “A legacy of service that will never be surpassed.”

McIntyre, who died in February 2015, first became involved with the bridge during his 1960-1964 term as mayor of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and helped cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the completed bridge to traffic on Oct. 31, 1962.

He went on to serve for decades as president of the St. Mary’s River Bridge Co. (SMRBC), the public entity created in 1955 by the Canadian Parliament to oversee the construction, operation, and maintenance of the bridge on behalf of Canada. He spearheaded the creation of the Joint International Bridge Authority (JIBA), and was selected to serve as the first chairman of that bridge governing body. He went on to be selected for three additional one-year terms. He also served as chairman of the successor SSMBA for a one-year term, thus making him the longest serving chair of the bi-national governance boards.

In other business, the board formally accepted the results of the annual bridge inspection and the fracture critical inspection. A team of bridge engineering experts from the firms of Hardesty and Hanover (H&H) of Okemos, Mich., and MMM Group of Mississauga, Ontario, conducted the two-week-long annual inspection of the bridge in August and presented preliminary findings at the board’s October meeting. The inspections found the bridge in good condition with no serious issues.

The fracture critical inspection was conducted on the Michigan half of the bridge. Fracture critical inspections are conducted on one-half of the bridge each year, and provide a closer look at bridge components that are critical to the structural integrity of the bridge.

The board also received updates on two upcoming bridge maintenance projects:

– The IBA plans to replace sliding plate bearings and rocker arms on the bridge in an estimated $600,000 project this summer. The project, currently in the pre-construction phase, is expected to begin construction on May 1 and last for approximately 12 weeks.

– A professional services contract to oversee design and construction of the Canadian arch paint project was awarded to Tulloch Engineering of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, following technical scoring and review of proposals. Tulloch is under contract in the amount of $470,272 (CDN) and the design phase has commenced.

The paint project will run concurrently with the bearing project, and is planned to start after July 5. The paint project is currently scheduled to last into late fall. Bridge traffic is not expected to be disrupted by either project.

The operation and maintenance of the International Bridge is totally self-funded, primarily through bridge tolls. It is not subsidized by any state, provincial or federal government entity. For a complete list of International Bridge tolls, visit the IBA website at

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