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Traffic lanes open on Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge after summer closings

SaultSteMarieIntlBridge.jpg
Michigan Department of Transportation
International Bridge spanning the St. Mary's river between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

All lanes on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge between Michigan and Canada are back open. The bridge had been reduced to one lane in places since mid-July.

The Canadians had their side of the bridge's curb and service walk railings painted this year. During that time, the necessary scaffolding meant one lane at different points on the northern segment was closed much of the time.

The painting project was supposed to be finished in November, but the Hastings Painting Corporation from Windsor got the job finished early. Bridge officials have opened both lanes to traffic on the northernmost bridge spanning the Saint Mary’s River between Canada and Michigan.

The cost of the painting project amounted to $2.2 million (3 million Canadian dollars) and is being paid through a grant from the Government of Canada.

In the last decade, the annual traffic count on the bridge has reached as much as 2 million vehicles. However, last year there were fewer than 200,000 crossings, according to the bridge operator. Traffic dropped dramatically shortly after the COVID pandemic began.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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