Bridging the Detroit River: the building of the Ambassador Bridge

Mary Baxter photo: The Ambassador Bridge.
Mary Baxter's picture
Mary Baxter is editor of and a contributing editor of Better Farming magazine, the largest circulating farm magazine in Ontario and Canada’s top website for online farm news. In 2007, she, along with her former Better Farming colleagues won the Canadian Association of Journalists' Award for Investigative Journalism in the magazine category. In 2012, she also won the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ Star Prize for print journalism. Mary is based in London, ON.




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Everyday up to 10,000 trucks use the Ambassador Bridge to cross the Detroit River between Windsor and Detroit. In 2015, more than a quarter of the $700 billion merchandise trade between Canada and the United States passed beneath the bridge’s massive towers and trademark signs.

The bridge is North America's busiest border crossing in terms of trade volume. Strategic location drives its popularity, and back when the idea of building a bridge between the two cities was first discussed — well over a century ago — proponents recognized its potential to boost local economies.

That's just the sort of justification governments use to move key infrastructure projects ahead. So perhaps what comes as the greatest surprise in the Ambassador Bridge's eventful existence is that private business instead took the lead to build it.

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