Restoring the Ambassador Bridge

The iconic Ambassador Bridge opened in 1929 and currently is one of the busiest international crossings in North America. Each year, millions of vehicles cross the Ambassador Bridge carrying international commerce and travelers to their destinations.

The Ambassador Bridge is overseen by regulatory agencies in both the United States and Canada. As part of this oversight, an annual in-depth inspection is performed by the same engineering firm that was involved in the initial bridge construction. This inspection is intended to keep the Ambassador Bridge safe, efficient and structurally sound.

Over the years, a number of projects have been undertaken to ensure the Ambassador Bridge remains a safe and viable border crossing. Some notable projects are detailed below:

Scope

New entrance ramp structure (Ramp S01) connects U.S. Duty Free Store Plaza to the U.S. approach girder spans heading towards Canada. New U.S. exit ramp structure (Ramp S02) allows U.S. bound truck traffic direct access to I-75.

Benefits

To expedite the flow of traffic for automotive and commercial vehicles.

Timing

Completed (2009 – 2013)

Scope

Replacement of original main span deck, stringer, bearings, railings, joints, lighting and electrical system. Removal of sidewalk, strengthening of floorbeams and widening of deck.

Benefits

Widened lanes to improve traffic flow, and smooth riding surface for the traveling public. These replacements improved the condition of deck and stringers from fair to very good condition.

Timing

Completed (2010 – 2013)

Scope

Canadian and U.S. approaches including anchorages, steel bent pedestals, piers, and abutments were repaired including repairing unsound and/or spalled areas, sealing any cracks and painting units with a protective coating. Main towers were cleaned and painted from roadway level to the tower bases.

Benefits

To preserve the structural integrity of each unit.

Timing

Completed (2014)

Scope

Replacement of strengthening plates, suspender rope attachment brackets, lower lateral bracing members, connection plates, wind tongue support metalwork at both towers. Members of the traverse struts and tower bracing below the roadway at each tower were repaired. Repair of main span tower rocker links and pins on both towers allowing main span to freely expand while maintaining proper deck alignment.

Benefits

To preserve the structural integrity of each unit.

Timing

Completed (2015)

Scope

Cable investigation was performed by unwrapping the cables at eight locations, driving wedges between the wires and examining the interior condition.

Benefits

Results indicated that the cables were in good condition.

Timing

Completed (2015)

Scope

Repair of east traffic railing, curb, and strip of deck on the Canadian deck truss spans. Repair of deteriorated joist ends and lighting installed.

Benefits

Traffic railing and lighting maintain safety for the travelling public.

Timing

Completed (2016)

Scope

Surface of approach decks milled, inspected and resurfaced. Any deck deficiencies discovered were addressed through a prioritized repair plan.

Benefits

All wearing surface or deck deficiencies were repaired.

Timing

Completed (2017)

Scope

Partial deck repair included removal of west sidewalk, curb, railing, and strengthening supporting superstructure. Deck panels, curbs, railings, and lighting installed.

Benefits

Providing wider lanes for the travelling public.

Timing

Completed (2017 – 2019)

Scope

Repair of east deck and railing. Joists, concrete deck, curbs, railings, and lighting installed and repaired.

Benefits

Restored condition rating of superstructure, deck, railing and lighting components to very good.

Timing

Completed (2019 – 2020)

Scope

Full-width deck repair and widening, repair of floor system joists, railings, expansion joints, drainage system, electrical system and lighting. Full repainting of entire U.S. Approach superstructure.

Benefits

Repairs provide wider travel lanes for vehicles and enhanced overall bridge safety.

Timing

Completed (2019 – 2021)

Scope

Previously-repaired Canadian Approach deck and upper floor system started in 2021 and is anticipated to be completed near the end of 2022. Work includes repair of deck, railings, remaining electrical and lighting system, remaining floor joists, and drainage system.

Benefits

Repairs provide wider travel lanes for vehicles and enhanced overall bridge safety.

Timing

Completed (2021 – 2022)

Scope

Repair of the Main Span Suspender Ropes.

Benefits

Repaired ropes with broken or deteriorated strands assist with maintaining condition of superstructure. Galvanized ropes replaced old ropes that contained lead paint.

Timing

Completed (2003 – 2007) – 100 of 300 Suspender Ropes Replaced
In Process (2022 – 2023) – 200 of 300 Remaining Suspender Ropes being replaced

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