TRANSPORT CANADA

TRANSPORT CANADA
Niagara Falls Bridge Commission

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission

April 16, 2010 09:12 ET

Transport Canada: "Topping Off" Ongoing Success of Queenston-Lewiston Bridge Plaza Improvements

QUEENSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Dr. Kenneth E. Loucks, chair of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, today celebrated the completion of the external structure – or "topping-off" – of the central plaza building at the Queenston-Lewiston International Bridge.

"As one of the busiest Canada-U.S. border crossings, the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge is essential to trade with the United States," said Minister Nicholson. "The Government of Canada is proud to have invested in this project, which is creating jobs in the Niagara region and contributing to efficient trade and travel over the long term."

"It is a pleasure to announce that the revitalization plans for the Queenston Plaza are progressing on schedule and budget," said Dr. Loucks. "We are thankful to the Government of Canada for its investment, which will help make this international crossing one of the most efficient of the bridges along the U.S. and Canadian border."

This project is part of the work to create a new central building for the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This building will provide additional space and improved facilities for the Agencies' personnel to process travellers in the most efficient and safest way possible.

This project is part of the second phase of improvements to the Canadian Plaza at the Queenston-Lewiston International Bridge currently underway. Phase Two also includes the construction of 10 passenger vehicle primary inspection booths, a separate bus processing lane and associated works. Once completed, Phase Two improvements will result in faster processing times for travelers, strengthening trade and tourism between Canada and the United States.

The total cost of Phase Two is estimated at $76.5 million, with the Government of Canada contributing up to $62 million through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund (Building Canada Plan), which has been accelerated through Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission is contributing the remainder.

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BACKGROUNDER

QUEENSTON-LEWISTON BRIDGE

The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge is the fourth-busiest Canada-U.S. commercial land border crossing and a key component of the Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor. In 2009, bridge traffic included approximately 675,000 commercial trucks and over 2.6 million cars.

A $130-million, multi-phase project to redevelop and expand the Queenston Plaza on the Canadian side of the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge is currently underway.

Phase One was completed in January 2009. It consisted of the construction of a new elevated parking structure, a toll complex, commercial primary customs processing, a retaining/security wall to extend the usable plaza footprint, and a new maintenance storage facility. The total cost of Phase One was $49 million and was funded by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

Phase Two improvements to the Queenston Plaza include additional passenger primary inspection lanes, commercial warehouse inspection facilities and commercial tollbooths that will allow for more efficient processing of vehicles. Improved efficiency will reduce traffic congestion at this key border crossing and will help reduce air pollution from idling vehicles. Additional features, such as a wall to separate Canada-bound and U.S.-bound traffic, will improve security.

Phase Two improvements also include a new central building for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This will provide additional space and improved facilities for CBSA and CFIA personnel to perform their duties, which will ultimately increase their ability to process commercial and passenger traffic in a timely manner.

Handover of the new central building to CBSA and CFIA is scheduled for November 2010, while substantial completion of the entire project is scheduled for the fall of 2011. 

The total cost of Phase Two is estimated at $76.5 million, with the Government of Canada contributing up to $62 million through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund (Building Canada Plan), which has been accelerated through Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission is contributing the remainder.

The Government of Canada is taking important steps to support economic growth. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides for almost $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over two years and accelerates the $33-billion Building Canada Plan. This will contribute to long-term economic growth in communities across Canada through investments in public infrastructure, such as roads, water treatment, green energy and transit.

For more information about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.ca.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.

Contact Information

  • James Kusie
    Director of Issues Management and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of Canada's Transport Minister
    John Baird, Ottawa
    613-991-0700
    or
    Pamela Stephens
    Office of the Honourable Rob Nicholson
    613-992-4621
    or
    Ben Roberts
    Niagara Falls Bridge Commission
    716-854-8182
    716-510-5827 (cell)
    or
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa
    613-993-0055