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Oct 302012
 

The track of nasty weather from Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast U.S. and Canadian border with rain, high winds, snow, power outages, and some flooding but it did not have a major impact on the border crossings between the countries.   It has now lost most of it’s power and although it left a high death toll and enormous property damage it no longer appears to be a major threat to your trip across the border.

Storm Track Updates

U.S. states and Canadian provinces along the border are still experiencing heavy rain, wind, and significant power outages.   At its height Sandy left 150,000 customers without power in Ontario, 50,000 in the dark in Quebec and 14,000 in Nova Scotia.  The Bluewater Bridge border crossing in Sarnia was closed occasionally to truck traffic during the heaviest wind events

You should still check our  border crossing road conditions page for up-to-date information on storm impact in Michigan, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Quebec, Ontario or New Brunswick.  You should also check the page for your specific border crossing to see if we have any current information for that port.

If you should be traveling across the border please send us your updates on border conditions as you find them.

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Sep 082012
 

Periodic closure of some primary inspection lanes at the Queenston Plaza could increase traffic delays at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge border crossing.  The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission is removing the old duty-free store and large concrete barriers from the Queenston Plaza and some lanes will be closed at times to accomplish this work.  This work is expected to be completed by late November 2012.

Queenston Plaza Primary Lane Configuration During Construction

Below is a listing of the number of primary lanes that will be open during construction:

  • September 4 to September 14 – 8 primary inspection lanes will be available.
  • September 24 to October 8 – 10 primary inspection lanes will be available.
  • October 9 to October 17 – 6 primary lanes will be available.
  • October 18 to November 20 – 9 primary inspection lanes will be available

 

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Jun 102012
 

Wallenda Event Will Snarl Traffic in Niagara Area

Unless you are planning to join the 120,000 people trying to watch Nik Wallenda tightrope walk across Horseshoe Falls on June 15, 2012, you will want to avoid the entire Rainbow bridge area on that day.  If you must cross the border on the 15th, ignore your GPS and head to either the Peace Bridge, Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, or Lewiston Queenston Bridge to avoid the worst traffic.  Try to travel early in the day as higher-than-normal traffic volumes are anticipated at the other bridges as well.

Although the Rainbow Bridge will remain open during the walk, all highways and surface streets in the area will be a mess.   Pedestrian foot-traffic will be allowed on the Rainbow Bridge but walkers will not be allowed to stop for extended periods of time.

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Horseshoe Falls

At approximately 4 p.m., the Niagara Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic from Clifton Hill and Niagara Parkways in the north to Niagara Parkway and Fraser Hill in the south. The Parkway could be closed earlier or later, depending on how quickly the crowds take shape.  Drivers can also expect congestion on U.S.  Interstate 190 between the South Grand Island Bridge toll barrier and Exit 23 (US Route 62 – Niagara Falls Boulevard), and on the Robert Moses Parkway from Interstate 190 to downtown Niagara Falls.

Many local streets around Queen Victoria Park will also be closed off.  Traffic should be very heavy throughout the entire day and well into the early morning of the 16th.

Blue, circular “Wallenda Wire Walk” route markers will go up along the QEW, Hwy 420 & city roads to point drivers to alternate routes and parking for the event.

To help handle the increased trafic, the Whirlpool Bridge NEXUS hours of operation will be extended to run from 7am on the 15th to 2am on the 16th.   Whirlpool Bridge is a NEXUS only border crossing so make sure everybody in the vehicle has a NEXUS card.

Be sure to should check ezbordercrossing.com for traffic conditions at the other three border crossings within the Buffalo/Niagara region and select the crossing that is least crowded.

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Apr 192012
 

Job cuts at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) could cause longer wait times entering Canada.

The newest Canadian budget proposes a reduction of roughly 1,000 CBSA employees. There is a lively debate going on between the Customs and Immigration Union and the government as to how many border officers will be cut, and whether this will really affect border wait times.  Obviously, if there is any reduction in essential personnel or the number of officers handling traffic it has the potential to increase backups at the border.

A second issue is that Canadian customs officers have shown they are willing to walk off the job to protest what they consider unacceptable working conditions.  In April, officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing staged a work slowdown over these cutbacks that snarled traffic for half a day.   In February, Canadian officers created a major traffic jam at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge when they left their posts in protest over working conditions.  These walk-offs have been unannounced, so there is not much you can do except check current traffic conditions. Ezbordercrossing.com will post any information it may receive about potential problems and you should always check the page for your specific port for current border wait times.

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Feb 022012
 

 

Update: 1/2/12 – Border officials were back on the job Thursday although the underlying issues have not been resolved.

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Canadian border officials apparently left their posts at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge on Wednesday, February 1st.  It is reported that this was a protest due to the failure of the Canada Border Services Agency to fix flaws in it’s policies on how officers are to deal with people considered armed and dangerous.

As a result of this walk-out, there were only 2 lanes open instead of the normal 8-12 lanes.  The abandoned posts were staffed by management personnel to keep the border moving.

ezbordercrossing.com is still trying to confirm the details of this situation and will update you as we receive more information.

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