The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., honored longtime manager of the International Bridge by proclaiming Wednesday, October 21ST, Phillip M. Becker Day in the city.
Becker, who recently announced his plans to retire in 2016, is completing 29 years of public service with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), including 15 years serving as general manager of the International Bridge Administration (IBA).
Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Anthony Bosbous praised Becker for his strong community involvement, keen interpersonal skills and engaging personality, and cited him as a key proponent for the signing of the 2012 Sister Cities agreement by Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario.
“Phillip’s enthusiasm and active community involvement continues to build and support the Sault Ste. Marie Sister Cities bi-national partnership by encouraging and supporting community events, such as the Annual International Bridge Walk and the Sault International Festival of Races,” Bosbous said.
Bosbous touted Becker’s unwavering advocacy of the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Bus — jointly supported by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, MDOT, and the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority — which provides convenient, affordable cross-border public transportation.
The honor came during a ribbon-cutting celebration marking the completion of the 16-month-long, $8.9 million (USD) toll plaza project at the bridge. Bosbous noted the project, approved and designed under Becker’s watch, has remedied operational and safety deficiencies while “enhancing the northern gateway to Michigan and improving bridge customer service.”
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, City Councilwoman Susan Meyers also recognized Becker as the “chief keeper of the bridge,” commending him in an official city proclamation.
His management and oversight has enabled the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge to become a crossing of excellence,” Meyers said.
In accepting the honors, Becker credited the bridge staff for the progress during his tenure.
“The only thing I’ve accomplished here is bringing together an excellent team and it’s been really rewarding,” Becker said. “It’s been such a privilege. It’s been fun.”