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Upgrades planned for Blue Water Bridge crossing (October 14, 2005)

SARNIA, Ont. Drivers using the Blue Water Bridge and Hwy. 402 leading to the U.S. border will soon have cameras a...

SARNIA, Ont. Drivers using the Blue Water Bridge and Hwy. 402 leading to the U.S. border will soon have cameras and electronic message signs to help determine traffic conditions.

The federal and provincial governments are each chipping in $2 million for the upgrades.
“This is great news for users who depend on this vital link between Canada and the United States for trade and travel,” said Sarnia-Lambton MP, Roger Gallaway. “Border improvements such as these will help ensure the efficient movement of goods and people.”

“The bridge is Ontario’s second-busiest border crossing for trucks,” added MPP Caroline Di Cocco. “Close to 1.8 million trucks a year use this border crossing, carrying with them $51 billion in goods. Installing intelligent transportation systems like these is part of our action plan to ensure local and provincial prosperity.”

“Keeping traffic moving safely and smoothly across our international borders is a priority for this government,” said Ontario Transport Minister, Harinder Takhar. “These improvements will keep billions of dollars worth of goods flowing across the busy Blue Water Bridge.”

More than five million cars and trucks cross the Blue Water Bridge each year, making it Ontario’s fourth busiest border crossing. The announcement comes on the heels of a recent Ontario Chamber of Commerce report that suggested border delays cost the U.S. and Canada more than $13 billion per year. Commercial traffic at the Blue Water Bridge is expected to more than double over the next 10 years.

Sensors will be installed along a 15 kilometre stretch of Hwy. 402, which will measure vehicle speeds and send traffic information to warning signs motorists can use to plan their route.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Transportation officials will be able to monitor the highway by closed circuit television monitors, allowing them to detect incidents and quickly dispatch emergency vehicles when required.

“When this system is fully operational, it will enhance safety on Highway 402 and the Bridge Plaza by displaying traffic information on electronic signs to help local motorists make informed decisions about alternate routes, and provide real time traffic information to motorists bound for the bridge,” said Dan Elash, Blue Water Bridge Authority president and CEO.

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