Quebec, feds pump $75 million into border corridor

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ST-BERNARD-DE-LACOLLE, Que. — Ottawa and Quebec City will share a $75.2 million bill to develop the corridor along Hwy. 15 to the Lacolle-Champlain border crossing.

Transport Minister David Collenette, together with Quebec Minister of Transport Serge Menard, stress this crossing is the most important trade corridor between Quebec and New York State.

The Lacolle-Champlain border crossing is the busiest in Quebec and the sixth busiest in Canada. More than $15 billion worth of exported goods travel through this border crossing annually, and a daily volume of more than 2,000 trucks were handled here in 2001.

The Government of Canada will contribute a maximum of $29.5 million for the project, which is designed to improve highway and border infrastructure along the Canadian side of the corridor, enhance safety, and relieve traffic congestion. Federal funding for the project comes under the borders portion of the Government of Canada’s Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP).

“This federal contribution of more than $29 million will help to improve the flow of people and goods across the border and along this corridor, which is a crucial factor in maintaining the vitality of our economy,” says Collenette.

“These highway and border infrastructure improvements will also help strengthen Canada’s economic ties to New York State, which will benefit the people of Quebec.”

This project is composed of the following components:

— realignment and rehabilitation of Highway 15. Safety enhancements, such as upgrades to lighting systems, and signs will also be included;
— construction of a motor carrier safety inspection area at Lacolle (northbound), as well as dedicated lanes to improve access to U.S. Customs inspection booths;
— implementation of intelligent transportation systems for commercial vehicles, and installation of a traffic camera;
— and other improvements, including the rehabilitation of a rest area, construction of a parking area for trucks, and the installation of a windbreak.

This project reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving trade efficiency while promoting safety and security at or near Canadian border crossings. It supports the Smart Border Declaration, signed by Canada and the U.S. in December 2001. This declaration is supported in turn by an Action Plan containing measures to enhance the secure and efficient cross-border flow of people and goods.

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