March 26, 2013 — International Bridge Administration (IBA) staff and U.S. and Canadian customs officials are implementing steps to mitigate bridge wait times that have increased in recent years.

This bi-national effort includes the IBA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Beginning today, will be enhanced to show current estimated wait times, as well as average hourly wait times experienced the same day the year before. The page also will allow travelers to see average hourly wait times for any day of the previous year.

“Our agencies are working together to maximize communication and information-sharing to give bridge users more information about current wait times so they can make informed decisions about when is the best time to cross,” said Phil Becker, IBA general manager. “We’re reaching out to travelers for feedback to help us provide better customer service.”

The IBA also will place another webcam on the bridge at a location that will show the length of any southbound traffic backup north of the U.S. arch of the bridge, a view that currently is not available. The webcam will be available to the public by June 1. IBA toll staff will be gathering customer feedback by asking random travelers a few short questions about their crossing experience. A similar questionnaire will be available on the IBA Web site.

IBA, CBP, and CBSA officials will routinely meet to review traffic wait times as compared to the previous year, as well as to review customer questionnaire responses, and take appropriate action to address concerns to the extent possible.

This year’s initiative to mitigate wait times was designed taking current infrastructure constraints into consideration. The bridge administration continues to pursue funding for widening the south end of the bridge, which could improve wait times by adding two more southbound lanes on the south end of the bridge. However, securing funding for the expected $13 million project remains an issue.

“It is uncertain if and when the south-end bridge widening project will be funded, so this wait-time initiative is an effort to do the best we can to minimize wait times with what we currently have,” said Becker.

The IBA operates and maintains the entire 1.9-mile-long structure. CBP is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while facilitating legitimate travel and trade. CBSA officers staff the inspection booths in Canada to ensure the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada.

Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge
“Celebrating 50 Years of International Friendship, 1962 – 2012”