NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Border efficiency and support for the world’s largest trading relationship are getting a significant boost with completion of a major construction project at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission celebrated the completion of the $45-million, fifth-lane Queenston-Lewiston Bridge expansion project last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the centre of the bridge.
The event was attended by Walt Lastewka, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, on behalf of federal Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre; Ontario Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar; and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission chairman, from New York State, Robert E. Lewis.
After an aggressive 10-month construction period, the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge will now offer an additional lane of traffic. The fifth lane will be available primarily to commercial trucks enrolled in the bi-national Canada-U.S. Free and Secure Trade pre-screening program.
“Trade between the United States and Canada contributes to growth in both our economies and provides consumers with greater choice,” Lastewka said. “These improvements at the border will be of tremendous benefit to Canadian and American commerce, tourism and trade.”
“The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge is Canada’s fourth busiest commercial border crossing with more than one million truck crossings every year,” Takhar said. “It is vital to the provincial economy that we keep the $28 billion in goods carried annually across this border moving efficiently. These improvements will help reduce congestion at the Niagara border.”
The fifth lane project was funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission under the Border Infrastructure Fund. Each partner contributed $15 million to the project.
“This is great news for Canada and the United States,” Lapierre said. “Not only will the expansion of the bridge allow for efficient movement of goods between Canada and the United States, it will also ensure a safer passage in and out of Canada.”
“We are delighted that the project is nearly complete, ahead of schedule and on budget,” Lewis said. “The additional lane will reduce delays for commercial and consumer traffic while enhancing security at the fourth busiest crossing between Canada and the United States.”
In addition to the new lane on the bridge itself, new lanes on Highway 405 are now open for trucks travelling to the U.S. By giving trucks a dedicated lane to U.S. Customs, beginning well back from the bridge, officials said safety will be improved, congestion reduced and crossing efficiency enhanced.
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