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Authorities worry about traffic at the border, especially near the Peace Bridge

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Posted at 12:02 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 12:02:43-05

The Western New York State Legislative Delegation is calling on the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to increase staffing to avoid delays and congestion.

The Delegation is asking for border inspection staff increases at the four border crossings, with specific attention to the Peace Bride during its re-decking project. Various lane closures in this first phase of the bridge reconstruction are expected to last until May, as well as during the second phase of the project which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.

"We are deeply concerned that the delays and congestion plaguing Canada bound traffic at our region's four international broder crossings this summer, which was attributed to a shortage of Canadian Border Services Agency staff at the bridges, will be exacerbated because of the construction," said co-chair of the Delegation Assemblyman Robin Schimminger. "The CBSA needs to be responsive and ensure that enough customs inspection lanes remain open with booths staffed to meet demand."

Co-chair Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says U.S. Customs has upped its staffing to accommodate the traffic and is respectfully asking the CBSA to follow suit.

A study conducted by the Peace Bridge Authority (PBA) concluded that there are not enough lanes to process traffic in Fort Erie, raising concerns about dangerous backups. Authorities are worried the traffic will spill over onto the Niagara Thruway and local streets in the area of the Peace Bridge.