The Hub November 2016 - Page 26

It has become the busiest international border crossing in North America main piers and the main tower, followed by the anchorings. These first steps were completed close to the end of July 1928. Construction of the bridge had progressed quickly and it was expected the bridge would be completed far ahead of schedule. In March of 1929, less than a year later, construction was halted due to faulty anchorage wires, while new solutions were investigated. Construction was halted until a new solution could be found. By November of 1929 the bridge was completed. On November 11, 1929, the Ambassador Bridge was opened and the lives of those in Windsor and Detroit were changed forever. Since that November day, the bridge has had more than 200 million automobiles and trucks cross. It has become the busiest international border crossing in North America, specifically in terms of trade, and carries approximately 70 per cent of the commercial truck traffic between borders. Although the bridge was initially built as a more cost effective method for transport of goods between the cities of Windsor and Detroit, and ease of travel between the two countries, it has also meant a great deal to the social and economical development for both. “It has inspired and brought forth success for both Canada and the United States,” said Marty Gervais, a professor at the University of Windsor and author of several history books about the region. He said at the time the bridge was built they never could have imagined the impact it would have in the future. While there were positives to the construction of the bridge, some members of the Windsor community suffered. As other communities grew, expanded and urbanized, the town of Sandwich failed to reap the benefits. “When the Ambassador Bridge went up it was like a wall cutting off Sandwich from the rest of Windsor,” said Gervais. “There are more heritage buildings per Morning, noon or night, the Ambassador Bridge has became a favourite subject for local photographers.