- The International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie celebrated its 100 millionth crossing this morning shortly after 9 a.m.
- The bridge opened to traffic in 1962 and reached its 10 millionth crossing in 1975.
As in 1975, the International Bridge Administration (IBA) recognized one bridge crosser from each direction and presented them with a selection of local gifts.
- March 1, 2018 — The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge marked a major milestone today as the 100 millionth traveler crossed the span between Michigan and Ontario.
The International Bridge is the only vehicular crossing between Ontario and Michigan within a 300-mile distance. The bridge, which opened in 1962, connects the sister cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Today, the communities boast populations of 14,000 on the Michigan side and 75,000 in Ontario. The International Bridge Administration (IBA) celebrated the bridge’s 10 millionth crossing back in 1975.
“Clearing the 100 million mark is a truly outstanding achievement for the IBA and a testament to how important this crossing is. I want to congratulate everyone involved,” said Thomas Buckingham Sr., chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority, the bi-national body that supervises operations of the bridge. “The sheer number of crossings demonstrates that the International Bridge plays an absolutely vital role in both Soo communities. It’s an essential transportation link for industry, tourism, work, recreation, and shopping.”
Just as in 1975, the IBA recognized one crosser from each direction – north and south – this morning. Both lucky Canada- and U.S.-bound travelers received a gift package, including an IBA tote bag; a complimentary tour for four of the bridge arches; commuter account deposits for $40; a DVD of the 2012 bridge anniversary documentary, “Crossing Conversations;” a package of Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) logo items; Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan) Convention and Visitors Bureau 350th anniversary celebratory gifts; a framed photo of the bridge; and Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan) Chamber of Commerce bucks.
The lucky northbound crosser was Mr. Stephane Richard of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The southbound crosser was Mr. Donald Parish of Brimley, Michigan. Mr. Parish is also a 28-year U.S. Navy Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient.
The International Bridge is the largest international trade crossing in northwestern Ontario. Since the Soo crossing is near the Trans-Canada Highway, it is a convenient route for goods going by truck from northeastern and eastern Ontario, as well as northern Quebec and the Montreal area, to the upper Great Lakes. The crossing connects directly to the major north-south freeway I-75 and to M-28, which runs south of Lake Superior into Wisconsin and Minnesota. The IBA anticipates similar traffic volumes (auto and commercial) this year compared to the past two years: between 1.4 and 1.5 million total crossings.
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 more information on the International Bridge, please visit www.saultbridge.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/saultbridge.
Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge:
Bridging Our Past, Connecting Our Future