Higgins, Brown squabble over Peace Bridge Plaza expansion

Jun 19, 2012

Mayor Brown's surprising call for a delay in razing seven vacant houses on Busti Avenue to make way for the proposed construction of an expanded Peace Bridge Plaza is raising eyebrows.

Word that plans are proceeding for construction of a new international bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario has prompted Congressman Brian Higgins to call for an immediate end to all the hemming and hawing
that has been part of the Peace Bridge expansion issue for two decades.

The democrat from South Buffalo told reporters Monday the region cannot stand for any more delays.

"The Peace Bridge and the expansion project for both the plaza and the new span has been planned for over 20 years in this community.  No construction jobs have been created and we continue to deal with congested border which creates health problems on the lower west side of Buffalo."

Higgins was referring to asthma and other breathing problems affecting young and old alike near the Peace Bridge.  According to Higgins, what's happening in Detroit should spark a sense of urgency here. 

But Mayor Brown told reporters he doesn't see it that way.

"I'm all for progress, but this project has changed many times; we're not talking about building a bridge here now, we're talking about a Peace Bridge Plaza expansion and no one has seen the plans.  I would ask the question, what are the plans for the expansion of the Peace Bridge Plaza?"

To which the congressman later replied, a plaza has to be built first before work can begin on a new bridge.