Jan 24, 2014 — Friday at 7am, the new low-level North Channel Bridge, The Seaway International Bridge Corporation (SIBC) Toll Plaza and the temporary interim Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Plaza in Cornwall will open for business.
Overhanging the St-Lawrence Seaway, the Seaway International Bridge in Cornwall, ON is a vital road link between Canada and the United States. Every year, the bridge accommodates over 120,000 commercial transits and more than 2,300,000 passenger vehicle transits
Plans for the construction of the Seaway International Bridge were initiated in 1957 and consisted in building an international toll bridge system between the Cities of Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York with the South Channel Bridge (1958) located on the US side of Cornwall Island and the North Channel Bridge (1962) located on the Canadian side.
In 2010, the federal government announced the construction of the new North Channel Bridge through a $74.8M project planned in four phases. The historic high-level bridge, a 1962 structure, has reached the end of its useful life. With the first two phases now completed, the new crossing, toll plaza and temporary interim CBSA plaza are now ready for use.
Plans are for a smooth transition on opening day, with a simultaneous closure of the high-level structure. The high-level bridge will be dismantled over the next two years.
The toll rate will remain at $3.25 per crossing.
Part of the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, Cornwall Island sits on the St-Lawrence River. As for the Akwesasne reserve, it straddles the Canada – United-States border. In fact, the reserve is located in Ontario, Québec and New York.
CBSA interim port of entry
The new five-lane border crossing also opens today. The CBSA had closed the Cornwall Island border station in 2009 after Mohawks protested Canada’s decision to arm border services officers. The Government of Canada set up a provisional port-of-entry across the river in Cornwall.
The new CBSA office however remains an interim one, The CBSA says it remains committed to the customs station plan in Massena, New York and that talks with the United States are “ongoing”.
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