She also praised the employees of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority for properly maintaining the structure for over the past eight decades.
The assemblywoman also presented the authority with a proclamation from the New York State Assembly recognizing the bridge's 80th anniversary.
"It recounts a lot of the details we all have committed to memory - the height of the bridge, when it was built, the date of the grand opening, the amount of traffic that crosses the bridge on an annual basis," Assemblywoman Jenne said.
While she acknowledged the bridge moves commerce and tourists and is an economic key to the Thousand Islands region, Assemblywoman Jenne said the structure is far more personal for many in the region, including 93-year-old Betty Brubaker, who was on hand when the bridge first opened in August 1938.
"It's linked to a place we all love, a place where we all have fond memories from our childhood all the way on to adulthood," she said, noting she and Ms. Brubaker had a chance to share some of their memories prior to the ceremony.
"My family camped at Grass Point ([State Park, between Clayton and Alexandria Bay), and one of the things we loved to do on the first night we were at camp was to run down to the docks when it got dark to look at the lights on the bridge. It was a wonderful, magical, beautiful sight to see," the assemblywoman noted.
She said work on the spans that are part of an 8.5-mile route that hops across islands to reach from the United States to Canada required 550,000 hours of labor.
"It is truly as vital to our region's economy today as it was when it was first opened. And like any other major infrastructure project in the North Country, many of us can recall people who worked on the bridge and how important that was to those families especially in the difficult years of the 1930s," Assemblywoman Jenne pointed out.
She suggested the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority has been purposeful and thoughtful in their work to maintain the spans.
"This bridge is still here 80 years later," she said in comments made at the base of the American span. "There is no need to tear it down and build anew. The people who have run the bridge and maintained it have done a fantastic job.
"I can't say enough good about the current employees here - as well as past employees - and how they have taken care of this bridge," she added.
"There is a tremendous legacy of these communities to make sure this vital asset continues to be suspended above the majestic St. Lawrence River. Congratulations to all those who have taken such good care of this bridge and continue to take great care of this structure. I'm sure it will be here in another 20 years when we celebrate its centennial," she said, as the Brockville (Ont.) Pipe Band played in the background.
Saturday marked the 80th anniversary of the grand opening of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority system connecting Collins Landing, near Alexandria Bay, to Ivy Lea, near Gananoque, Ont.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister MackKenzie King were on hand 80 years ago for the grand opening of the 8.5-mile crossing on Aug. 18, 1938 that features three bridges hopping across islands to connect the United States to Canada.
The groundbreaking for the bridges took place on April 30, 1937.
Passenger and commercial traffic volumes have climbed from approximately150,000 crossings per year when the bridge first opened to annual crossingsfigures that now exceeding 2 million vehicles;,
A plaque erected near the bridge reads, "The unfortified boundary links both the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America should quicken the remembrance of the more than a century old friendship between these countries, a lesson of peace to all nations."
IN THE PHOTOS:
Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne signs a board marking those on hand at Collins Landing for a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the Thousand Islands Bridge. Her son, Aaron (r), looks on.
Bette Brubaker, who celebrated her 93th birthday Saturday, signs a board marking those on hand at Collins Landing for a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the Thousand Islands Bridge. She was at the bridge celebrating her 13th birthday on the day it opened and remembers when President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Clayton that day, Aug. 18, 2018.
Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne presents Rob Horr (l), executive director, and Tim Sturick (l). deputy executive director, of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority with a proclamation from the New York State Assembly marking the 80th anniversary of the Thousand Islands Bridge.
Assemblywoman Addie A.E Jenne praised the staff, past and present, of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority for the work they have done to maintain the Thousand Islands Bridge for the past 80 years as TI Bridge Authority Executive Director Rob Horr holds a proclamation from the New York State Assembly.
Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne and Deputy Executive Director Tim Sturick hold a proclamation from the New York State Assembly marking the 80th anniversary of the Thousand Islands Bridge.
Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne listens as Bette Brubaker shares her memories of the day when the bridge was opened to the public in 1938. The bridge opened on her 13th birthday, and the Clayton native was at the bridge with her famiy that day.
Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne visits with Bette Brubaker, who was celebrating her 93rd birthday Saturday. She was celebrating her 13th birthday on the day the bridge opened in 1938.