Expansion plans for Lewiston bridge plaza made public

Sep 17, 2013

The process has started for a major expansion of the U.S. side of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.

As Peace Bridge expansion plans have demonstrated for decades, changing cross-border bridges can be a complicated process.

The current layout of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge U.S. Plaza.
Credit niagarafallsbridges.com/

The bridge's owner, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, has a public hearing Wednesday afternoon in Lewiston Village Hall to show its plans for expanding the Lewiston end of the span.

General Manager Lew Holloway says it's a big project, perhaps $130 million overall.

"The intent would be to increase the numbers of inspection lanes from the current six cars lanes and four truck lanes to about ten car lanes and six trucks lanes and a dedicated bus lane," Holloway tells WBFO News.

Holloway says the bridge commission can do some major work to improve traffic patterns but the main construction awaits a deal with Washington over Customs and Immigration space. He says that is stalled in the political environment and might be years away.

Holloway says the U.S. project follows a $140 million rebuilding of the Queenston plaza.

"We completely rebuilt the plaza from beginning to end. The customs building was about $80 million," he says.

The commission plans major road work in the spring to put traffic through the current duty-free store site, with the store moved nearby.