LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — A $50 million modernization project for the U.S Plaza at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge has been approved by federal officials.
The project is expected to cut down wait times at the bridge, which can go from one to three hours at times.
The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge supports the fourth-highest volume of commercial traffic on the U.S.-Canada border, according to New York State Senator Charles Schumer. Due to wait times, a number of Canadian shoppers have been avoiding the bridge.
Canadian shoppers and businesses spend $1.7 billion in New York every year, according to Schumer. He says the wait time “has had a detrimental impact on the regional economy.”
“The advancement of improvements to the outdated Lewiston Plaza will have profound impacts on border wait times and reduced travel delays in the Buffalo Niagara regions,” said Lew Holloway, General Manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. “Senator Schumer’s continued advocacy on behalf of more efficient border travel has proven to be the defining factor in making the funding of the Lewiston Plaza expansion a reality. These much needed upgrades to be funded by U.S. Customs and Border Protection will increase safety and security at the port-of-entry and help alleviate congestion to better accommodate the high volumes of passenger and commercial traffic that regularly use this bridge crossing.”
Schumer says the project will create approximately 1,200 new jobs related to construction as well as sustain and protect other jobs in the region.
The project will include the removal of the current administration building and construction of a new 32,800 square feet facility. An expanded outdoor secondary canopy is expected as well as more parking.