The International Bridge turns 50 years old this year, and the twin Saults marked the occasion by installing commemorative plaques at either side of the structure.
“This plaque will be dedicated to all those who have endeavoured to maintain a safe and efficient crossing for our two communities—Ontario and Michigan—and our two great countries,” Scott Shackleton, Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority chair, said in a news release.
“It is dedicated to the bridge staff and authority board members who, for 50 years, have strived for, and accomplished, outstanding public service and stewardship through exceptional customer service and care for the bridge infrastructure.”
The first toll-paying customers started rolling across the bridge on Oct. 31, 1962, noted Phil Becker, International Bridge Administration general manager, in a release.
“Since that day, more than 93 million vehicles and $50 billion in trade have crossed the bridge, and we want this celebration to show our appreciation to our customers and our supportive bi-national community,” he said.
To celebrate the milestone, vehicle tolls were rolled back to the rate in place when the bridge opened. The $3 toll rate for passenger vehicles and $2.10 rate for Prox Card customers was temporarily reduced to $1.25 (U.S. and Canadian currency) per crossing.