Canada Moves to Lessen Niagara Congestion

Both governments will share the $45 million cost of building a fifth lane on the bridge with the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. With work already underway, the lane is slated to open in December. This project follows the recently completed addition of two new truck lanes along the main corridor leading to the bridge on the Canadian side, Highway 405.

The additional lane will be reserved for use by commercial vehicles that have security clearance under the U.S. Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program. Although the new lane will benefit commercial traffic, the governments also view the lessening of truck movement as allowing freer flow to passenger vehicles, meaning possible easier and more tourism.

In its 2001 budget, the Government of Canada provided $600 million to create the Budget Infrastructure Fund. Subsequent to the September 11, 2001 attacks, Canada signed a mutual declaration with the U.S. and created its Smart Border Action Plan that seeks to secure the flow of people; secure the flow of goods; secure border infrastructure; and provide coordination and information aimed at sharing the enforcement of these objectives. The addition of a lane on the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge falls under these programs.

Most program funding is aimed at serving major border crossings, including Windsor, Sarnia, Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, in Ontario and Douglas in British Columbia.

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