Drivers

Detroit's Ambassador Bridge Celebrates 80 Years

December 09, 2009

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The Ambassador Bridge in Detroit celebrated its 80th anniversary recently. The bridge, which was constructed from 1927 to 1929, connects the Canadian side of the Detroit River with Detroit.
At the time it was built, the Ambassador Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
At the time it was built, the Ambassador Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.


The bridge was developed by Joseph Bower, a banker who took up the project in 1924 after purchasing options of the stock of the Canadian and American Transit companies. Bower proposed to build the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time.

But Bower's proposal did not come without some opposition. Detroit Mayor John (Johnny) Smith cast his veto on the project, claiming that the bridge's users would pay for its cost and debt service, and would pay a perpetual profit to its owners. The city held a popular referendum to determine the outcome, and in the end, the bridge passed by an eight to one margin.

Construction on the bridge began in May 1927, and on Nov. 11, 1929, it was ready for operation.

Most recently, the Detroit International Bridge Co. has been fighting legal battles in an effort to build a second Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. It would be called the Detroit River International Crossing.

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