Ambassador Bridge: The Bridge Connecting Detroit and Canada

Ambassador Bridge Connecting Detroit and Canada - the worlds biggest international suspension bridge

The Ambassador Bridge is a transnational suspension bridge that links Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit, Michigan. By the early 20th century, Detroit became a major metropolis, but the only way for people and commodities to cross the border was by boat. Transport between the two nations was facilitated by the construction of a rail tunnel under the Detroit River, however, issues were not entirely resolved.

Brief History of the Ambassador Bridge

A number of bridge plans were shelved on the grounds that they would cause navigational hazards, be too costly, or have usage limitations. Midway through the 1920s, John W. Austin presented a workable bridge proposal to Detroit banker Joseph A. Bower. Bower provided the $23.5 million needed, but Detroit Mayor John Smith, who was against a privately owned bridge, put a temporary stop to the proposal. On June 28, 1927, a referendum was held, and the people of Detroit overwhelmingly supported the idea of building the bridge.

The project was awarded to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s McClintic-Marshall Company, which would go on to construct the Golden Gate Bridge. May 1927 saw the start of construction, which was finished months ahead of time in 1929. The bridge is seven hundred and ninety feet long and is designed in Art Deco and Gothic styles. The primary material of the building is steel (21,000 tons), and the highway ascends to a height of 152 feet over the Detroit River. The Ambassador Bridge was the world’s biggest suspension bridge when it was built, but the George Washington Bridge, which spans the Hudson River, overtook it two years later.

The Ambassador Bridge was in the Bower family’s ownership until 1979, when Manuel “Matty” Moroun, a native of Detroit, bought it from the Central Cartage Company of Detroit. Plans to build a new bridge next to the dilapidated Ambassador Bridge have been maintained by the Moroun family, despite years of delays caused by both the US and Canadian governments.

Ambassador Bridge is close to many major businesses and places of interest for many visitors and natives. There are also plenty of entertainment venues nearby, as MGM Grand Detroit is located near the Ambassador Bridge in Michigan. A few miles south of the Ambassador Bridge will be the newly constructed, publicly owned Gordie Howe International Bridge.

The Current State of the Ambassador Bridge

Ambassador Bridge is still the world’s biggest international suspension bridge. Every workday, almost 10,000 cars on average cross the bridge. In terms of both traffic and commerce volume, it is one of the busiest international border crossings in North America. This border crossing is used by around 25% of all commerce between the United States and Canada.