Most harbors on the Great Lakes are home to spectaular old bridges, and the Soo is no exception.
Meshed together in the distance, the Chicago Northwestern Railroad Bridge and the International
Highway Bridge mark the entrance to the Soo Locks.Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1596
The International Highway Bridge links the twin towns of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan with
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The bridge has two arched spans, this one over the Canadian locks, and a double
arched span over the American side of the locks. The next closest border crossing by road is 350 miles south of the Soo.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1595
2012 marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the International Bridge. Opened in 1962, the bridge
handles about 7,000 vehicles a day over its 2.8 mile roadbed. Where the bridge crosses the shipping channel
the bridge has a clearance of 128 feet. Plans in 2012 for the 50th anniversary include commemorative red, white,
and blue lighting strands, a set of five collector edition postcards, a children's coloring book,a bridge modeling
contest, traveling historical displays, and an October 31st Anniversary Day celebration.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1634
Beneath the International Highway Bridge runs the Wisconsin Central Railraod bridge. Known as the International
Railroad Bridge, this track bed stands about fifteen feet above the surface of the St. Marys River.
Over time the original bridge has undergone modifications to accomodate vessel traffic on both sides of the river.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1694
The raildroad bridge consists of several distinct sections, making it an awesome bridge to view, whether from
a ship or on land. A rare double-leaf bascule bridge sits adjacent to a vertical lift bridge that spans the
shipping channel. The bascule bridge is touted as the largest bridge of its type in the world.
To the left are a section of nine camelback truss bridge spans, each around 252-feet in length, that continue
to a series of plate girder spans before reaching a swing bridge over the Canadian lock.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1658
A vertical lift span crosses the main shipping channel on the American side of the locks. The span was built
in 1960, replacing the original swing bridge that once sat in the middle of the channel.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1683
An average of four or five trains cross the international bridge daily. The bridge is owned and operated by the
Wisconsin Central Railroad.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1689
My favorite part of the vertical lift bridge are the support towers that stand on either side
of the span. Although not as historically important as some of the older portions of the railroad
bridge, they are visually interesting to photograph.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1613
A view of the machinery space on the south side of the vertical lift bridge. Every time I pass
beneath these towers I think it would be a great place to have an apartment. Getting food and
furniture to it would be a bit problematic, but in daydreams it doesn't matter anyway.
Sault Ste. Marie, July 10, 2012, Image 12-1649