Tag: bridge

Limited construction expected at Niagara Falls bridge crossings this season

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From WBFO News:

Cross-border travelers have more than Canada’s sesquicentennial to celebrate this summer. Canada’s history is going to change recent history on the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s three crossings this summer.
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American side of Niagara Falls to go silent

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From North Country Public Radio:

Parks officials in New York are planning a project of historic significance: temporarily shutting off the American Falls. That will dramatically alter a natural wonder that attracts millions of tourists from around the world.

The Niagara Falls State Park project is designed to replace two pedestrian bridges that are over 100 years old. Those bridges connect the main section of the park to Goat Island, which splits the Niagara River into two falls, one in Canada and the other in the U.S.

Shutting off the flow of the river and the falls will give construction workers access to the bridge supports.

Leaders from both sides tell Ottawa more resources needed at border

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From WBFO.org:

Seven elected leaders, including the mayors of three Western New York municipalities, have co-signed a letter to Canadian federal officials urging them to increase resources that will help ease long waits at local international bridges.

Steering in the right direction

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A Niagara Falls councillor wants to steer visitors in the right … or left direction.

Coun. Wayne Thomson wants the city, the Region, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and the Ministry of Transportation to work together to allow motorists who cross the Rainbow Bridge to be able to make left hand turns onto Falls Ave.

As it stands now, motorists leaving the bridge are forced onto Roberts St. and Highway 420.

WOLCOTT: Clinking Canadian coin cache

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From the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal:

Let’s say you have 30 cents in change. There are only two coins, but one of them is not a quarter. What are the coins?

It took a bit of time for me to catch on to my great nephew’s puzzler. Now I’m wondering what to do with my Canadian coins, a quarter and a nickel.

One night this week, I walked over the Rainbow Bridge to Canada.

Bring GO to Niagara Falls, says Region

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Regional council has asked GO Transit to find a way to extend daily train service to Niagara Falls.

Metrolinx, the provincial agency in charge of GO Transit, is studying a possible expansion of the popular commuter service into Niagara.

GO is looking at four different expansion routes, including one that follows the northern peninsula CN rail line all the way to Niagara Falls.

But GO officials have said that route may require a costly bridge over — or tunnel under — the Welland Canal to avoid ship traffic. GO is also considering an option that would see the train stop in St. Catharines, with travelers boarding buses to continue to the Honeymoon Capital.

But at Thursday’s meeting, regional council approved a staff recommendation to push for train service all the way to Niagara Falls — and beyond, possibly to Fort Erie.

Final bridge approval nears

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

After nearly 20 years of often acrimonious debate, final approval for a new bridge across the upper Niagara River is just around the corner.

But there are a few more steps that need to be completed.

Ron Rienas, general manager of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, says he believes the agency will be in a position to submit a final environmental impact statement on the expansion project to U.S. regulatory authorities for approval by year’s end.

Before that happens, the same document will be submitted to the project’s partners, the Town of Fort Erie and the City of Buffalo, for their consideration.

“We’re hoping to have the (final environmental impact statement) in to the (municipalities) in September and a record of decision by the end of the year,” said Rienas.

‘Flexible’ U.S. guards ease border flow

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From the Toronto Star:

As cars and trucks breezed across the Peace Bridge to Buffalo this morning, it was shaping up to be a typical Monday at the U.S.-Canadian border despite new documentation requirements coming into effect today.

Under the new requirements, Canadians will still be allowed across the U.S. border without a passport or enhanced driver’s licence during this summer travel season.

They’ll just be scolded a little.

HOW TO AVOID THE SUMMER TRAVEL TRAFFIC BLUES

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Here is a press release I received via email from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission:

nfbc_logo

HOW TO AVOID THE SUMMER TRAVEL TRAFFIC BLUES

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission offers tips on how to avoid traffic when crossing one of the three international bridges over the Niagara River

LEWISTON, NEW YORK – Summer is fast approaching and travelers will be utilizing the international bridges along the Niagara River in much greater numbers.  Whether it is to shop, visit tourism destinations, vacation, go to the beach, catch a Bernard Shaw play or take a Sunday drive in a neighboring country, to name just a few, travelers that cross one of the bridges between the US and Canada will want to avoid long delays. If prepared, traffic delays can be minimized using the tools provided by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

For some time now, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission has provided information on traffic conditions at the Whirlpool, Lewiston-Queenston and Rainbow Bridges.  Before departing for a trip to either side of the border travelers can visit the organization’s website or call its toll free number to find out traffic patterns at all three bridges.

  • Niagarafallsbridges.com provides hourly updates on traffic conditions on the Lewiston-Queenston, Whirlpool and Rainbow Bridges, as well as real time photos of the traffic conditions on the Lewiston-Queenston and Rainbow Bridges.
  • Travelers planning to travel over one of the three Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s bridges are encouraged to call its toll free number that provides hourly updates of traffic conditions on the three bridges.  The number to call is 1-800-715-6722, press 2 for car traffic info.

The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission also provides exclusive use of the Whirlpool Bridge to travelers with a NEXUS pass.  With travel times over the Whirlpool Bridge averaging less than a minute, NEXUS Pass travelers do not have to worry about traffic when crossing the Niagara River.  In addition, NEXUS travelers using the Whirlpool Bridge currently receive a 28% discount on tolls.  For more information about the NEXUS program please visit niagarafallsbridges.com and click on the NEXUS link on the upper right hand corner.

Representatives from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission also recommend drivers who are traveling on I-190 in the United States who are on route to cross one of the three bridges to view the electronic traffic overhead message signs for current traffic conditions on the various bridges.  The signs operated by NITTEC receive all traffic information from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and the signs are updated very regularly.  Drivers can also tune into 1610 AM, Highway Advisory Radio, on their car radio, which gives traffic conditions on the three bridges operated by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

Travelers who cross the border should also be aware that the U.S. and Canada each have different laws dictating what travelers are allowed to cross the border with and what items need to be declared, such as fruits, plants and duty free items.  For a complete list of what is allowed into each county, travelers should visit either www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca (Canada) or www.cbp.gov (U.S) when crossing into the respective countries.  Each site provides a comprehensive list of what is allowed in each country and what items need to be declared at the customs booth.  Knowing this important information will make traveling across the border quicker and will ensure compliance with the laws.

It is also very important for all travelers to know that as of June 1, 2009 travelers entering the U.S. by land, must provide either a passport, passport card, enhanced driving license, Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST), State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available) Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available), U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders, U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business, Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card or a Form I-872 American Indian Card.  Those that don’t have one of these forms of identification may be denied entrance to the U.S.  US Customs recently reported that 90% of travelers already have the required identification documents so long delays are not anticipated. However, using the available tools and taking advantage of the benefits of the NEXUS program will provide benefits to all travelers.

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About the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission

A Joint Resolution of the 1938 U.S. Congressional Third Session created the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. The Extra Provincial Corporations Act of the Province of Ontario, Canada licenses the NFBC. Canada and the U.S. are equally represented on the NFBC by an eight-member Board of Commissioners.  Initially established to finance, construct and operate the Rainbow Bridge, the Commission proved sufficiently efficient and effective to assume responsibilities for the Whirlpool Rapids (Lower) and Lewiston-Queenston Bridges.  The NFBC builds and maintains all facilities for Customs and Immigration functions on both sides of the international border. The NFBC is self supportive, largely through user fees (tolls) and private-sector tenant leases. NFBC is federally chartered to conduct international commercial financial transactions and issue federal (U.S.) tax-exempt bonds.

Weak Canadian dollar means paying more at border

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The prolonged weakness of the Canadian dollar means people paying more to cross the border.

Effective May 15, Canadian tolls for passenger vehicles will be increased to $4.00 Cdn from the current $3.75 rate. The U.S. tolls will remain at $3.25 U.S.

The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which operates the Rainbow, Queenston-Lewiston and Whirlpool Rapids border crossings, says the move is not a toll increase, but rather an exchange adjustment, which is “entirely based on U.S. currency and its exchange rate with the Canadian dollar.”

The adjustment will include passenger vehicles using the discounted Canadian Express Pass as well, with the newly adjusted toll being $3.40 Cdn.

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