LEWISTON, N.Y.(WIVB)- It can take hours to get over the Lewiston-Queenston bridge from Canada.
It’s why Kristen Trunzo doesn’t travel on it.
“The wait is so long that it’s horrible to come over. I don’t even go over to Canada. Maybe once a year, just because of the congestion,” she said.
A $50 million dollar modernization project aims to take the headache out of crossing the border, by cutting down on wait times.
Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. General Services Administration have given a final green light for the project; it includes rebuilding the bridge’s administration office and expanding parking, but it’s the extra lanes travelers will benefit it from.
All lanes will be redone, and on top of that there’ll be three new car lanes, two new truck lanes, and a new bus lane.
Schumer said Tuesday those lanes will also have extra CBP officers to staff them.
“We were promised 200 of them on the eastern section of the northern border, so they’re coming,” he said
The project also brings with it 1,200 new local construction jobs according to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.
Schumer couldn’t say how many of those jobs will be permanent.
Trunzo runs Hibbard’s Old Portage Shop in Lewiston, and despite their weak dollar, serves Canadians every day.
“We do get a lot of Canadian clientele, in the liquor store especially,” she told New 4.
She’s optimistic about these improvements, but said she’ll have to wait and see if it actually boosts her business.
Construction on the project is set to start in the spring of 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2020.