A construction proposal that would dramatically reshape the Peace Bridge was approved by the federal government this past week. The project’s main focus will be to improve the way vehicles get on and off the Peace Bridge. The project will cost an estimated $35 million with the creation of new entrance and exit ramps, and a pedestrian bridge to the shoreline trail.
The work is intended to get rid of the confusing lane-switching maze that often disrupts traffic going on and off the bridge. The new work will also put an end to the ability of some drivers to mistakenly skip right through the primary border security checkpoint. This will allow border agents to shift from having to watch for such incidents to devoting their full attention to quickly processing vehicles.
The main portions of the project will include providing a direct access ramp from the Peace Bridge to the northbound lanes of the Niagara Thruway, opening a new way to get on to the bridge for local traffic and vehicles traveling southbound. The Porter Avenue bridge will also be replaced and Baird Drive will be fully removed from Front Park. In total, the work will require building four new bridges at the site and adding new pedestrian and biking improvements to the shoreline.
Officials have said that while the Peace Bridge project is under construction, traffic speed will not be influenced through the plaza. It has also been stated that the project will have no effect on the vehicular emissions from traffic using the plaza or bridge.
Designs for the plan are still in the works and construction bids will be accepted in July. Work is expected to begin in October and will take an estimated two full construction seasons to complete, hopefully wrapping up in the summer of 2017.
For federal and state documents pertaining to the project, please visit https://Users/davidlewis/Sites/berardi/app/public.dot.ny.gov/nygateway.
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