New International Bridge Plaza and Tolls Celebrated With Ribbon Cutting

Wednesday was a day of celebration after years of work.

The result will lead to improved traffic on the International Bridge.

It took seven years of planning and 16 months of construction, but the International Bridge at the Canadian Border in Sault Ste. Marie has new toll lanes and a new toll plaza.

Officials gathered at the bridge for a ribbon cutting celebration Wednesday.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Erin Malone show us how the new plaza will make it easier for those crossing the border.

"Today is a very special day for the International Bridge and our customers," International Bridge Administration General Manager Phillip Becker said. "We celebrated the completion of a $9 million new toll plaza facility with a ribbon cutting and a dedication of this brand new plaza."

After seven years of work, the International Bridge celebrated the opening of a new plaza and toll lanes with a ribbon cutting and dedication.

"We had some significant hurdles along the way and we used some very innovative approaches to get this project to where it was where we could complete it within budget," Becker said.

The $8.9 million project replaced the previous administration building, added two extra lanes and moved the tolls further south to improve driver safety–all with improving customer service in mind.

"Customer satisfaction increased from 65% to 80% satisfaction with how we managed traffic," Becker said.

Frequent drivers say the construction wasn’t bad, but they’re happy about the improvement.

"Oh, I zip right through. It’s no problem now," frequent bridge traveler Mariah Goos said. "It’s definitely an improvement. It cuts down, it cuts minutes off it and sometimes that makes all the difference."

Travelers like Goos expect to see more travelers as a result.

"…because they know with those extra lanes that the wait on the bridge is going to be cut down and it’ll make a big difference, be it travelers or Sault Ontario shoppers coming over."

The public is welcome to tour the new plaza Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.