$40M in Peace Bridge Contracts Awarded

September 10, 2012 Updated Sep 10, 2012 at 7:21 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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September 10, 2012 Updated Sep 10, 2012 at 7:21 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - As a prelude to the oft-discussed and much anticipated expansion of the U.S. plaza at the Peace Bridge, the bridge's governing authority has awarded three design contracts for key projects - all of which will begin in the next year.

Revamping the cramped plaza is key to improving traffic flow across the U.S.- Canada border crossing while also alleviating environmental issues that hover over the lower West Side neighborhood near the bridge.

Collectively, the three projects represent more than $40 million in construction contracts.

The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority awarded:

• A pact to Amherst-based Wendell Duscherer to design the more than $20 million renovation and expansion of the U.S. Customs Commercial Building. The project includes renovating the existing 43,000-square-foot building, parts of which date back more than 60 years.

Also included in the project is the construction of new commercial inspection bays and secondary customs processing areas.

The building's utilitarian exterior will be replaced with several structural glass walls, making it a night time beacon and a more modern image on the plaza.

Construction is slated to start next fall and take between 18 months and 24 months to complete.

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