The St. Mary’s River Bridge Company (SMRBC) announces today a major step forward in the Canadian Plaza Redevelopment Project with the opening to traffic of the new Carmen’s Way commercial entrance.
The Carmen’s Way commercial entrance will eliminate the requirement for large commercial vehicles to have to navigate the small city streets of Queen, Huron and Albert. This will result in an increase of overall road safety and reduce future road maintenance requirements by the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Construction on the current phase, which includes the new Duty Free Shop, the International Bridge Administration (IBA) maintenance facility and security centre, the west worksite and the bridge ramp widening started in October of 2013. Construction is approximately 95% complete, with the balance of landscaping to occur in the spring. This portion of construction was tendered at $10,894,260 and is on budget.
Starting Tuesday January 20th at 12:00 noon, commercial truck traffic will access the plaza by way of the new commercial entrance from Carmen’s Way in lieu of the commuter vehicle entrance on Huron St. City. Street signage has been updated to reflect this change.
Commuter vehicles will continue to use the Huron St. entrance. Commercial vehicle parking and staging will be available for those drivers wishing to finalize paperwork or visit the Duty Free Store prior to crossing to the USA. Bus lay-by parking stalls are available for bus traffic wishing to visit the Duty Free Store. Bus traffic may enter the plaza from either the new Carmen’s Way entrance or the existing Huron St. entrance. If needing to visit Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) prior to leaving Canada, busses must use the Huron St. entrance and park across from the CBSA outbound office.
Construction of the balance of the plaza is on track with the demolition of the old Duty Free Store and remaining residential properties now underway. Construction on the new CBSA facilities is expected to start in the second quarter of 2015. This project is managed by SMRBC’s parent company, The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited, based in Ottawa.