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.
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.