$24 Million Project Makes Border Crossing More Efficient For Trade and Travel
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the $24 million U.S. Customs Commercial Building at the Peace Bridge. The newly expanded and renovated facility will significantly decrease traffic congestion and facilitate more efficient customs processing. The project is an important component of the Peace Bridge Understanding of 2013, which lays out a plan for taking concrete steps aimed at improving traffic flow on the American side of the bridge.
"We've made significant progress in improving travel on the Peace Bridge and today's announcement is another major step forward," Governor Cuomo said. "By reducing congestion and delays, this project will continue to ensure this artery remains a vital gateway for commerce and trade I am proud to see it completed."
The Customs Commercial Building provides for a more efficient operational layout and tighter integration amongst key federal inspection agencies working to handle administration of daily commercial operations at the Port of Buffalo.
"The Peace Bridge is the busiest car and freight crossing between Canada and the United States," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "It is imperative that we maximize efficiencies to allow New York State to benefit from the tourism and trade that is delivered through Buffalo’s international front door."
"The Governor's continued advocacy for the Peace Bridge corridor improvements is paying dividends today," said Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority Chairman and Empire State Development Regional President Sam Hoyt. "The unveiling of the new Customs Building is an important step forward toward eliminating the chronic stress and congestion at the Peace Bridge crossing."
The Peace Bridge Understanding was announced by Governor Cuomo with Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer on June 26, 2013. It outlined an aggressive, project specific plan to move forward on the U.S. Plaza improvements. The agreement calls for $150 million in projects, including $35 million in short-term improvements to the American side of the bridge that the Public Bridge Authority approved last fall, and an additional $60 million for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Gateway Ramp project.
In addition to the Customs Commercial Building, several of the projects sited in the Peace Bridge Understanding have been completed including:
- US Plaza Enhancement and Widening Project
- Gateway Ramp Project
- Approach Widening Project
The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, a binational bridge authority, has owned and operated the Peace Bridge since 1933. The bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1927, spans the Niagara River between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, and is a key international border crossing.