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Bridge Commission asks US govt. to step to plate

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- After recently revamping the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilities at the Queenston border crossing, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission is asking the US feds to match Canada's generosity and help fund...


NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — After recently revamping the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilities at the Queenston border crossing, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission is asking the US feds to match Canada’s generosity and help fund improvements on the American side.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in Lewiston were built in the early 1960s and need upgrading and modernization, the bridge commission says.

However, recent comments from Homeland Security have lead the commission to believe funds may not be forthcoming.

“Last week, the commission and its Canadian government partners opened a state-of-the-art, $78 million inspections building on the Queenston side of the bridge,” said commission chair Patrick Brown. “For years, the commission has worked on redesigning the Lewiston port of entry to complement this. Ensuring that cars, trucks and buses move into Canada as quickly and efficiently as possible across all three of the commission’s bridges is crucial to both nations’ economies. But so is ensuring that traffic from Canada has an equally smooth flow through equally modern and efficient American facilities.”

Brown continued: “On the Canadian side we were able to access funds from the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund (Building Canada Plan) to supplement our financing from toll revenues. On the US side, we will also need federal supplemental funding, normally done in the form of a lease, and the support of the region’s Congressional leaders, as we had from Ontario and Canadian governments, to move this project forward.

“Given the multi-billion dollar, bi-national trade that passes over the commission’s three bridges each year, as well as the local impact of tourism and shopping for people on both sides of the border, funding for this project is crucial. Talking, working and devising ways to make this happen continues to be the best way to go to maintain safe and efficient operations.”


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