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.
“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.”
For more information about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.ca