Local
8:40 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Higgins says Peace Bridge still needs to be replaced

A pilot project designed to reduce congestion on the Peace Bridge got underway last week, but Rep. Brian Higgins says pre-inspection is not enough. Higgins is once again calling for a new span between Buffalo and Fort Erie.

To try and keep traffic flowing on the bridge, U.S.-bound trucks are now being inspected on the Canadian side. But Higgins says that hasn't changed the fact that the Peace Bridge only has three lanes and it's 86-years-old.

Credit File photo

"Unless and until we as a community recognize that our life quality and economic future is tied to reliable predictable access between the United States and Canada, we can't realize our full potential," Higgins says.

Higgins says 30 percent of Western New York's retail economy, along with the Buffalo Sabres, the Buffalo Bills, and the region's two airports rely on customers from Southern Ontario.  

"We're doing this with at least one hand tied behind our back," Higgins says.
 
And since idling diesel trucks give off more pollution, the Buffalo Democrat he says it makes to sense to increase capacity and keep traffic flowing.

"For economic reasons, for transportation efficiency reasons and for public health and air quality reasons, we need a new bridge and a new plaza. The Canadians got it right. We didn't. And everybody's waiting for us. They're really not waiting for us, they kind of bypassed us because you see hundreds of millions dollars being invested into the state of Michigan," Higgins says.

Washington approved Canada's plan for a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor Ontario last April.