When the Ambassador Bridge opened on November 15, 1929, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The George Washington Bridge in New York displaced this record in 1931, yet the Ambassador remains the world’s largest international bridge. Its center span is 1,850 feet and its total length is 7,490 feet. It is made of 21,000 tons of steel and rises 152 feet above the river.
Proposals to build a bridge over the Detroit River date back to the mid-1800s. None succeeded until John W. Austin and Joseph A. Bower connected in the mid-1920s. The McClintic-Marshall Company, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was chosen for the project, which launched in May 1927 and finished ahead of schedule. Thus, the handshake between two friendly nations was complete.