By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — NEXUS card holders bound for the U.S. will be allowed to use their passes on weekday mornings when they cross the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, starting Monday.
A spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday the first NEXUS lane to be opened at Lewiston will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. The NEXUS service in Queeston, Ont. for the Canada-bound travelers will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Meanwhile, the NEXUS lanes for U.S.-bound motorists on the Rainbow Bridge will be open only from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 10 a.m. on holidays. The NEXUS lanes on the Canadian side were closed in January 2011.
At the NEXUS-only Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, the schedule will remain the same, with lanes open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and at the Peace Bridge, linking Buffalo and Fort Erie, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends and holidays.
The NEXUS program allows low-risk, pre-screened travelers to cross the U.S.-Canada border with minimal delay for customs and immigration inspections. The expedited process enables the U.S. and Canadian border agencies to focus their efforts on potentially high-risk travelers and goods.
The CBP announced Monday that more than 100,000 trusted travelers had been issued NEXUS cards in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
Buffalo Port Director Randy Howe said: "The Port of Buffalo is excited to reach this milestone and we look forward to the continued expansion of the NEXUS program to facilitate trusted travelers at our local border crossings."
Travelers can apply for NEXUS online at "CBP.gov." In addition, NEXUS information is available toll-free at (866) NEXUS 26 (1-866-639-8726).