1930
1930
Modjeski and Masters Completes Study for Proposed Blue Water Bridge

Modjeski and Masters, in association with Monsarrat and Pratley, was tasked by the Port Huron-Sarnia International Bridge Company to study a proposed bridge over the St. Clair River. The originally proposed bridge was a two lane bridge featuring a 2,149-foot cantilevered through-truss main span. This design was optimal to both span the river and accommodate the required 150-foot vertical clearance above the river. The onset of the great depression delayed further work on the project.

1936
1936
Modjeski and Masters Awarded Design for the New Bridge

Using data from the original study, Modjeski and Masters completed the design of the new Blue Water Bridge. The design featured a cantilevered through-truss on an alignment slightly north of the originally proposed location at Bay Point. This location allowed for a shorter main span of 871 feet since it spanned a more narrow section of the river.

1937
1937
Construction Starts on the Blue Water Bridge Substructure

Construction commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 23, 1937 in the City of Port Huron, Michigan. Work would start here first and then on the Canadian side a month later.

1937
1937
Construction Starts on the Blue Water Bridge Superstructure

The superstructure work commenced with steel erection on the Canadian approach structure in December 1937. Work on the main span would start in January, 1938.

1938
1938
Major Construction is Completed on the Blue Water Bridge

Construction of the main span proceeded from both sides of the river and was connected on May 25, 1938. Major construction would be finished in August, 1938 with the completion of the concrete deck.

1938
1938
The Blue Water Bridge is Completed and Opened to Traffic

The newly completed Blue Water Bridge opened to traffic on October 10, 1938. It carried 2,000 cars and 6,775 pedestrians on the first day.

1952
1952
Modjeski and Masters Recommends Upgrades to the Bridge

Modjeski and Masters was tasked to study increased traffic volumes and make recommendations for improving the facility. Upgrades to the toll plazas and bridge lighting were recommended by the firm and construction commenced later in the 1950's.

1993
1993
Modjeski and Masters Retained to Design a Twin Span

With traffic increasing at a steady rate, the Michigan Department of Transportation recognized the need for a twin span. Modjeski and Masters, working with Canadian engineers Buckland and Taylor (now COWI), started work on an alternatives analysis for the new bridge. The report was delivered in October 1993. Among several recommended bridge types, a tied-arch bridge design was selected. The two bridges represent very different structural systems, yet each reflects the era of their construction while sharing broadly similar geometry.

The new structure would be the first major bridge to be designed and constructed in accordance with the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.

1995
1995
Construction Starts on the Second Blue Water Bridge Substructure

Construction on the second Blue Water Bridge started in April of 1995 on an alignment 125-feet south of the existing bridge. Work on the substructure would be completed early the next year.

1996
1996
Construction Starts on the Second Blue Water Bridge Superstructure

In February 1996, construction commenced on the bridge superstructure. Work would continue until early 1997.

1997
1997
Second Blue Water Bridge Completed

The Second Blue Water Bridge was officially completed and opening to traffic on July 22, 1997. The project went from concept to completion in just five years. The project was delivered on time and within budget.

1997
1997
Blue Water Bridge Project Receives Numerous Awards

The project receives numerous awards from prestigious industry trade associations, including:

NSBA / AISC 
2000 Prize Bridge Competition
Award Winners
Long Span Category

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration 
1998 Merit Award for major structures over $10 million

Ontario Institute of Steel Construction
1998 Outstanding Steel Project

NSBA / AISC
1998 Merit Winner
Long Span Category

American Society of Civil Engineers
1997 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement

Ontario Association of Certified Engineering
Technicians and Technologists-1997
The Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding engineering and technical achievement in suspension system construction and a paragon of international cooperation

1998
1998
Original Blue Water Bridge Rehabilitation Starts

Modjeski and Masters prepared a design contract to replace and widen the deck, strengthen the steel superstructure, improve traffic signals, and general upgrades to the bridge. Construction support and inspection services were also provided.

1999
1999
Both Blue Water Bridge Structures in Full Operation

As of November 1999, the $21M rehabilitation of the original bridge was completed and traffic was shifted back to the structure. The original bridge was designated to carry Westbound traffic while the new bridge carried Eastbound traffic.

2018
2018
Modjeski and Masters Performs Inspections and Repairs

Modjeski and Masters has been trusted to perform annual inspections and general repairs on both bridges for many years. Most recently, a remedial design for the anchor link and gusset plates was performed on the original bridge.