Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge toll plaza to open

Officials plan to open the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge's new toll plaza, which took 16 months to complete, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.

"The journey to this celebration began seven years ago when we commissioned the initial study to identify the project scope and cost," International Bridge Administration (IBA) Chief Financial Officer Peter Petainen said. "From that, we put in place the plan to fund the project from our financial reserves, and the project came in on budget and on time."

The toll plaza project cost $8.9 million.

"This has been a very successful project despite its complexity in terms of maintaining toll traffic and bridge operations," Bridge Engineer Karl Hansen said. "The project construction team consisting of Devere Construction and Northwest Design Group did a great job helping us minimize the impact on our customers."

Local leaders are holding an open house to celebrate the completion of the plaza. The event includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony as well as plaza dedication for the public between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. A public open house will be held from 1 to 3 p.m Thursday.

"The public open house is to express our gratitude to our customers for their patience and understanding during this project and the transition from the old toll system and booths to the new ones," IBA General Manager Phil Becker said. "Our toll staff did an excellent job providing exceptional customer service throughout."

Flags of the U.S. and Canada will be raised during Wednesday's ceremonies.

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