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International Bridge

Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge

International Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 16, 2006, June 25, 2011, and September 6, 2014

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
I-75 / TC-17B Over St. Marys River and Associated Canal System
Location
Sault Ste. Marie: Chippewa County, Michigan and Algoma District, Ontario: Canada and United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever (Arch and Suspended Deck) Bolt-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 8 Panel Bolt-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
430.0 Feet (131.1 Meters)
Structure Length
9,280.6 Feet (2828.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
28 Feet (8.53 Meters)
Spans
7 Main Span(s) and 56 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
17117034000B010

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Michigan Department of Transportation Official Website For This Bridge

View The International Bridge Administration Website

Although perhaps the most well-known and visible bridge in Sault Ste Marie, from a historical perspective, this is one of the younger historic bridges in the area, when compared to the International Railroad Bridge, and the Emergency Swing Span, and the Ashmun Street Bridge

This bridge is a complex structure. The minor spans are all deck plate girder spans. There is a deck truss span over the Power Canal on the Michigan side. The continuous truss unit over the U.S. canals is a four span through truss with two arch-shaped spans featuring suspended deck, giving it an arch-like shape. This style of continuous truss unit usually only has a single arch-shaped suspended deck span, making this part of the bridge extremely rare. The span over the Ontario canal is another continuous truss unit with suspended deck, but this unit is of traditional arrangement with only a single arch-shaped suspended deck truss span. The bridge is noted for its sag in between these two through truss units, which was done because under-bridge clearance was not a concern at that part and so to reduce costs, the piers were built with a lower height there. The International Bridge lacks any v-lacing or lattice, and all connections are bolted. There are rivets on the built-up beams however. The concrete piers are tall and impressive, but feature minimal aesthetics, especially when compared to a bridge like the Blue Water Bridge.

Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory

Narrative Description

MDOT Historic Bridge Chippewa County I-75 St. Mary's River

This is one of Michigan's five monumental bridges.  The twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan and Ontario were linked by a railroad bridge in 1887, but automobile traffic between the cities was carried by ferry until this bridge was opened in 1962. An International Bridge Authority was created by the Michigan State Legislature and passed before construction was begun.

It was designed by the firm of Steinman, Boyton, Gronquist, and London of New York and cost twenty million dollars. This bridge was an ambitious project because it crossed two navigation canals and the St. Mary's River.Overall, the bridge is 2.76 miles long, including approaches, and provides a two lane roadway 28 feet wide. The Main spans had to be erected without the use of falsework so as not to obstruct traffic through the American and Canadian Locks. This was done through the balanced addition of steel structural members on the main spans.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: International Bridge

 

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2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation

Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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View Photo Gallery

Pre-2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation

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View Photo Gallery

Additional Unorganized Photos

Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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View Photo Gallery

Additional Unorganized Photos

Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: International Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

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