A major overhaul of the U.S. Customs Plaza at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge is officially underway. The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission broke ground on the $90 million modernization project on Tuesday.
Customs and Border Protection Buffalo Field Office Director Rose Brophy said the current inspection facilities date to the 1960s. Once completed, Brophy says, the state-of-the-art facility should speed up U.S. bound traffic.
"With this bridge and the capacity we currently have it doesn't really fit the amount of traffic that we're seeing. With the new facility and the new additional booths we'll be able to process vehicles quickly, more efficiently have more capacity and therefore you will see a reduction in the wait times," Brophy said.
The Bridge Commission says work will be completed in stages to keep inspection lanes open and to mitigate delays. The new U.S. Customs processing building is expected to open in early 2020. Completion of the new inspection lanes is on track for 2023.