Background

In 2009, the federal government announced a significant new investment of $44M to redevelop the Canadian Customs Plaza in Sault Ste. Marie. This project is being managed by St. Mary’s River Bridge Company (SMRBC) through a contribution agreement with Transport Canada.

The St. Mary’s River International Bridge is the only port of entry for cars and trucks traveling between Canada and the U.S. for a section of the border stretching from Sarnia to Pigeon River, a distance of 1,300 km. Intermodal studies have clearly indicated Sault Ste. Marie’s strategic position as a major hub with the capacity to ensure the flow of goods from international ports to the U.S. market. For this reason, this project is of major importance for the economic growth and job creation in the Sault Ste Marie area.

The new plaza infrastructure project
at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge will result in:

  • increased border security requirements;
  • an anticipated increase in commercial truck traffic arising from Sault Ste. Marie’s multi-modal initiative; and
  •  a new truck route from Highway 17 (Carmen’s Way) to the current Canadian Plaza.

The project scope of work will involve the construction of:

  • 7 primary inspection lanes comprising: 4 passenger lanes, 2 bi-level lanes for cars and trucks and 1 truck lane;
  • a bus inspection area;
  • a new traffic and commercial facilities, widening of the bridge approach ramp and new infrastructure, including support for NEXUS and the Free and Secure Trade (or “FAST”) frequent traveler programs; and
  • a new building to house brokerage operations and a duty-free shop.

Views of the new Canadian Customs Plaza and the International Bridge Administration (IBA) garage