Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 9, 2014

GLYNN: Ceretto upset over plan to divert trucks

Niagara Gazette — While the plan’s dead in the water — at this point — the mere thought of diverting truck traffic from the Peace Bridge to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge is enough to spark concern.

In fact, Assemblyman John Ceretto (R-C, Lewiston) was even more disturbed that the federal government reportedly had talked about the diversion scheme without any attempt to contact state and local government officials. 

Ceretto noted that only recently an agreement was reached between the state and Canadian authorities to make vital improvements to the Peace Bridge. Angered over the apparent snub, Ceretto dashed off a letter to the General Services Administration asking for assurances to the local officials that the GSA plan is actually off the table. “It’s a very bad plan for the residents of Lewiston, Grand Island, Niagara Falls and the Town of Niagara,” the lawmaker said, “The towns don’t have the necessary infrastructure to handle the increased traffic that would result from more trucks on the 1-190 (Niagara Expressway).”

•••

Lew Holloway, general manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which owns and operates the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, said he was unaware of the diversion plan until it was reported in the media. “Obviously we need redundancy in our bridges,” Holloway said, citing alternate routes when, for example, one of the spans is closed because of a emergency. “But to handle any such diversion (on a regular basis), we’d need significant expansion at the Lewiston-Queenston plaza,” he added. Such a major change in the truck traffic flow would require a careful study of the increased capacity at the Grand Island bridges. In addition, the Customs and Border Protection agencies would need more lanes to process the added influx. 

•••

ON THE ROAD: The storm last week that made it daunting for motorists to keep their vehicles on the road, especially on Wednesday, brought the Robert Moses Parkway issue into focus again. For the morning commuters there was little evidence of snow plowing between Lake Road in Porter and the Village of Lewiston. The parkway section from the village to Niagara Falls was closed. The two-way traffic — one way northbound and the other southbound — was an extra challenge for drivers who could barely make out the road with the blowing and drifting snow. 

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