Niagara Gazette

Opinion

June 29, 2014

GLYNN: Heavy traffic at the border; Wallenda ceremony coming July 7

Niagara Gazette — Customs and border protection agencies on both sides of the Niagara River are braced for heavy traffic over the two holidays this week — Canada Day (Tuesday) and Independence Day (Friday).

The Canada Day holiday is officially Tuesday, but more than half of the nation is expected to celebrate on Monday to enjoy the long weekend. 

NEXUS card holders, those people pre-cleared under the trusted travel program, should obviously have an advantage as they cross the border, The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge in north Niagara Falls is a dedicated NEXUS span, accessible only to those card holders.

L.J. (Lew) Holloway, general manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, notes that the Rainbow Bridge has no dedicated NEXUS lane for motorists entering Ontario. The U.S. Customs, however, accepts the NEXUS at all of its lanes.

At the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, in addition to the regular NEXUS lane, motorists can use that same card in the truck lane, if it’s not busy at the time. 

Agency officials have noted that the NEXUS system is so popular that the enrollment is now close to one million people along the northern U.S.-Canada border, Closer to home, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge has experienced an average 20 percent increase each year since 2009. In 2013, the increase was 28 percent.

•••

RETURN VISIT: High-wire artist Nik Wallenda, who captured global attention June 15, 2012, when he walked across the Horseshoe Falls is planning to travel back here next month for a special dedication.

Wallenda’s family is expected to accompany him for a noon ceremony July 7 near the Terrapin Point site where he started his historic walk two years ago. A plaque is being installed to commemorate that event watched by countless thousands along the border as well as millions around the world via satellite television.

Wallenda is under contract this summer with Darien Lake amusement park where he will perform daily until Sept. 1. After his memorable 2012 feat, he walked across a section of the Grand Canyon.

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