The Peace Bridge Authority celebrated the completion of the multi-year, $100 million rehabilitation project on the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada, WBFO reports. The project included widening and strengthening the span to include a bicycle and pedestrian path as well as an observation deck at the border line, replacing the bridge deck and structural steel, and adding new traffic control gantries, railings, and light posts. The project was self-funded, requiring no federal money from either nation.
The bridge spans the mouth of the Niagara River and connects Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, in Canada. It is one of the busiest border crossings on the U.S.-Canada border for commerce, and officials noted that the repairs were important for maintaining the economic flow between both countries.
“Many people said this project could not be done, that we could not redeck an old bridge under traffic conditions and that we would not be able to keep such an important border crossing functional during construction,” said Peace Bridge Authority Vice Chairman Kenneth Manning, according to the news agency. “I’m here today to say that they were wrong.”
“We had minus 27 degrees,” said Bill Friend, with Ironworkers Local 6 in Buffalo, during an event celebrating the project’s completion, according to the news agency. “We had 40- and 50-mile-an-hour winds, constantly. I haven’t seen this [the bridge] in the daytime in so long, I forgot what it looked like. We’ve done it at night, and the nights have been a big challenge. There’s shadows everywhere.
“Traffic was a big challenge,” Friend added during the celebration, according to WBFO. “Customs was hard, too. These guys have got a job to do, so they’re stopping cars. We get stuck in that same traffic like you guys when you’re leaving the bridge.”