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Limited construction expected at Niagara Falls bridge crossings this season

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

Cross-border travelers have more than Canada's sesquicentennial to celebrate this summer. Canada's history is going to change recent history on the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission's three crossings this summer.

It is fairly standard for some major construction to be underway at the Rainbow, Lewiston-Queenston or Whirlpool Rapids bridge. However, this construction season, it is going to be a little easier to cross the Niagara River on the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission's three crossings.

"Considering this is the 150th anniversary of Canada, we have tried to avoid any construction on our bridges that would cause delay this summer," said Commission General Manager Lew Holloway. "Most of our work will be done beginning next year."

That is particularly good news for travelers across the Lewiston-Queenston, where the Ontario end of the bridge was completely rebuilt and phase one of a rebuild of the New York end has been finished. Holloway said talks with Washington about the next phase are still underway, so he does not expect phase two construction until around a year from year from now.

"The construction of a new administration building, the removal of the old administration building, the construction of 15 new primary inspection lanes and removal of the existing primary inspection lanes, the construction of a separate new bus processing lane and all of the associated engineering and civil works," he said.

Holloway said there will be some maintenance and repair projects and some smaller capital projects. However, travelers can expect crossings to go fairly smoothly because so many are using Nexus passes to speed up the Customs and Immigration process. That is especially true at the Whirlpool bridge because it is Nexus-only and there were 700,000 crossings last year.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.