SAULT STE. MARIE – Members of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge Authority (SSMBA) board at their quarterly meeting Thursday paid tribute to the board’s chairman, James McIntyre, who died Feb. 11 as the result of an accident.
The board unanimously passed a resolution commemorating McIntyre’s long commitment to the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge and the people it serves.
McIntyre first became involved with the bridge during his 1960-1964 term as mayor of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and helped cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the completed bridge to traffic on Oct. 31, 1962.
He went on to serve for decades as president of the St. Mary’s River Bridge Co. (SMRBC), the public entity created in 1955 by the Canadian Parliament to oversee the construction, operation, and maintenance of the bridge on behalf of Canada.
After being involved in the task force that spearheaded the creation of the Joint International Bridge Authority (JIBA), he was selected to serve as the first chairman of the bridge governing body and went on to be selected for three additional one-year terms. He served as chairman of the successor SSMBA for a one-year term, thus making him the longest serving chair of the bi-national governance boards. He was serving his second term as chairman of the SSMBA at the time of his death.
In their tribute, the board remembered the “profound impact Jim had on the people affiliated with the bridge over the many decades, thereby earning the friendship and admiration of many, including bridge staff, bridge authority board members and U.S. and Canadian government officials.”
In other action, the board commended the SMRBC on its amalgamation, as of Feb. 1, with its parent crown corporation, the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL). The action brought to a close 60 years of dedicated service by the SMRBC board. Its duties will now be taken up by the FBCL board.
“Part of the FBCL’s mandate is to promote and share best practices and successes among our four-bridge international portfolio,” said FBCL President and CEO Micheline Dube. “The staff at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge has a long history of best practices through innovation.” The FBCL portfolio includes Canadian border crossing bridges in Sault Ste. Marie, Cornwall, Thousand Islands (Lansdowne), and Point Edward.
The SSMBA board officially expressed its gratitude to the members of the SMRBC board of directors, past and present, who served with distinction, and congratulated the FBCL on the successful merger. The SSMBA board told Dube it looked forward to working with FBCL with the same partnership and cooperation as it had with SMRBC.