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Major renovations slated for two bridges at US-Canada border

LEWISTON, N.Y. -- Major renovations to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Peace Bridge have been announced as part of the new cross-border management agreement between Canada and the US. The renovations are part of a new border security plan...


LEWISTON, N.Y. — Major renovations to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Peace Bridge have been announced as part of the new cross-border management agreement between Canada and the US. The renovations are part of a new border security plan announced yesterday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama.

“Rebuilding the Lewiston plaza is a top priority for the commission as critical improvements are necessary to help alleviate the current challenges with the processing of motor coach, commercial truck and passenger vehicle traffic,” said Patrick Brown, chairman of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which operates the Lewiston-Queenston and two other bridges between Canada and the US.
 
Brown said the Lewiston Plaza, which was built in the early 1960s based on traffic patterns of that time, must be modernized to provide US Customs and Border Protection the facilities to safely and securely process traffic efficiently.
 
“With completion of a modern plaza facility in Canada at Queenston, which is being well received by Canada Border Services Agency and the travelling public, it is critical that similar improvements are made at Lewiston to allow the efficient processing of traffic in both directions,” Brown said.
      
The Lewiston Plaza currently has a total of 10 primary inspection lanes, four for commercial and six for vehicles. It also has outdated secondary processing and Customs office buildings. Plans are underway for a projected $50 million-plus development that could see the primary inspection lanes increased to 17, including 10 for vehicles, Brown said.

The increase in primary inspection lanes, improved secondary inspection facilities and an expanded administration building would go a long way toward providing Customs and Border Patrol with the necessary facilities to safely and efficiently process traffic.
 
“This project requires coordination and approval from various governmental agencies and we are aggressively working on it with a goal of being shovel ready by spring, 2013,” Brown continued.
 
The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge handles about three million vehicles and 700,000 commercial trucks each year.


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