The second phase of a major modernization project at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge is underway, part of an effort to improve efficiency at one of the busiest crossings along the U.S.-Canada border.
Phase Two of the project includes $90 million in construction. Plans call for the replacement of ten existing lanes for trucks and automobiles and the addition of five new lanes, a dedicated bus processing lane and processing area, and new support facilities for primary lane and secondary processing.
“The current administrative building is over 50 years old. This new facility will provide our officers with the modern amenities necessary to complete their important security mission, while also expanding processing capabilities, which will improve efficiency at the border crossing,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Buffalo Field Office Director Rose Brophy.
Sen. Charles Schumer was at the bridge Tuesday to announce the start of Phase Two construction.
"Whether it’s a daily commute, a shopping trip, or a Sabres game, over three million vehicles cross this bridge every year,” Schumer said, in a statement. “This plaza modernization will make crossing the border easier and more efficient for hundreds of thousands of people who want to come here and contribute to the Western New York economy."
The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, constrcuted in 1962, is the fourth-busiest commercial land crossing between the two countries. More than 2.6 million passenger vehicles and 800,000 commercial trucks traverse the span each year.
“For many years, the Commission has worked diligently to advance the enhancement efforts at this port of entry, which is truly a vital trade and tourism corridor between Western New York and Southern Ontario,” said Niagara Falls Bridge Commission General Manager Kenneth Bieger.
Phase One of the project was completed in 2016 at a cost of $21 million. The work process for the current phase will be handled in a "staged approach" in order to ensure ten primary inspection lanes remain open throughout the process.