On April 1, 2019, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, which spans the international border between Canada and the United States in Niagara Falls, will be temporarily closing. The closure is necessitated by the upcoming removal of the 1,700-foot Niagara Scenic Parkway viaduct above the bridge and customs plaza. The removal of the viaduct is part of a larger project for the renovation of the parkway along the Niagara River Gorge. The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which is overseeing the redesign project, is hopeful that the project will ultimately expand the waterfront, increase access to the Niagara River Gorge, and add new green space to the area.
The bridge is scheduled to be closed for 35 days until May 5, but these dates are tentative. Despite the closure, the Amtrak trains that run on a track on top of the bridge will continue to operate during the demolition. However, the closure of the bridge will certainly affect travel into, and out of, the United States because the NEXUS enrollment center at the bridge will also be closed temporarily. To help alleviate the loss of this entry point, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge will offer extended hours of NEXUS lane availability. The extended hours at the Lewiston-Queenston and Rainbow Bridge are as follows:
• For the Canada-bound Lewiston-Queenston Bridge: Monday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• For the Canada-bound Rainbow Bridge: Monday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• For the U.S.-bound Lewiston-Queenston Bridge: Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
• For the U.S.-bound Rainbow Bridge: Monday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The project will not be cheap: it is estimated to cost New York State a total of $42 million. Still, renovations may be long overdue. The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is the oldest of the three local, international bridges connecting Canada to the United States, having been originally opened in 1855.
The closing of the bridge will certainly be an inconvenience to many, particularly our clients who frequently cross the border for work. At Berardi Immigration Law, we are available to address any questions or concerns that you have about the closing of the bridge and to help you with any problems that the closure may cause.