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Lots of work planned this year for International Bridge

Work includes replacement of 10 expansion joints on bridge deck
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NEWS RELEASE
INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE ADMINISTRATION
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The Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority board of directors Thursday received a reassuring report from the Authority's independent auditor, as well as a summary of work planned for the bridge this year.

Thursday at its quarterly meeting at the International Bridge Administration (IBA) building in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., the board approved the 2018 year-end basic financial statements, and heard a report from the Authority's auditor, Anderson Tackman & Co.

Ken Talsma, Anderson Tackman principal and certified public account, delivered the report, which issued an Unqualified Opinion, the best possible independent audit report.

"We're pleased that the auditors noted we are restoring our capital reserves in 2018," said IBA general manager Peter Petainen. "The Canadian arch paint project finished on budget and in a single construction season but used cash resources originally planned over two years. Accelerating the project minimized the disruption to customers to just a single, six-month project."

Bridge Engineer Karl Hansen provided a list of anticipated work on the bridge this year, which includes:

  • Resumption of cleaning and coating of the bridge's ivory-coloured curb rail, which will mark the third season of this work. To date, IBA staff has cleaned and coated 3,732 linear feet of the rail.
  • Beginning the cleaning and coating of the green-coloured pedestrian rail, with a focus on the east side of the bridge north from the U.S. end of the structure. Maintenance staff believes the accelerated corrosion of the rail is due to road salt being tracked onto the bridge from I-75 traffic.
  • Beginning epoxy flood coating of the bridge deck along the entire centre span, protecting it from water infiltration. This process will involve filling in and sealing all hairline cracks identified in the bridge deck, making future crack sealing more efficient.
  • Continuing spot painting of the superstructure and substructure steel on the U.S. arch of the bridge.
  • Replacement of another 10 expansion joints on the bridge deck, which helps prevent water collection on the substructure and, in turn, prevent further corrosion of steel surfaces.

"We would like the public to be aware of the ongoing preventive maintenance projects planned for this year and the presence of maintenance staff on the bridge that these efforts will require," Hansen said. "Our staff will be performing their duties in live traffic conditions, and I would urge that customers crossing the bridge obey speed limits, watch for workers, and be attentive to conditions while driving. The safety of our staff as well as the motoring public is our top priority."

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