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Governor Paterson Announces Five New Signature Bridge Designs Earn Federal Approval

Dec 14, 2009
Press Release

 Governor David A. Paterson today announced that five new bridge designs have earned federal approval, a significant breakthrough in moving forward the long-stalled Peace Bridge project. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (B&FEPBA) have reached an agreement with all necessary State, federal and Canadian environmental agencies in identifying five environmentally acceptable signature bridge design concepts, any of which can be chosen by the project sponsors and moved forward to construction. Governor Paterson today unveiled those designs to the public for additional comments and for a final determination on which will be chosen for the project.

“With this federal approval, the Peace Bridge development is ready to move forward. I am proud to unveil to the public – for the first time – these five new designs, one of which will become the signature bridge that Western New Yorkers deserve and have waited for,” Governor Paterson said. “The environmental concerns have reconciled with the public’s desire for a magnificent structure connecting the United State with Canada. This is about more than just a symbol for Western New York; it is about the economic expansion of a region through international commerce.”

The design concepts were created by a bridge design team of two world-renowned designers and supplemented by two local avian experts. Bridge designers Figg Engineering partnered with a grand master of bridge design, Christian Menn, and avian experts Terry Yonker and Michael Morgante to develop the designs. This design team worked with the Public Bridge Authority (PBA), NYSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – the Peace Bridge Project sponsors – to create five signature bridge design concepts that were acceptable to the environmental agencies. Following consultation, agreement was reached with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada that the five concepts should be shown to the public.

The five bridge design concepts can be seen online at:

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The five designs are:
1) Two tower cable stay with towers 345’ tall with diamond shaped towers
2) Two tower cable stay with towers 345’ tall with needle shaped towers
3) Three tower cable stay with towers 300’ tall with diamond shaped towers
4) Three tower cable stay with towers 300’ tall with need shaped towers
5) Three span arch with arches of graduated heights the tallest 226’ high

Open houses to further describe the five possible bridge design concepts will be scheduled for Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario in January and February, 2010. The open houses will also show modifications of the U.S. plaza that the project sponsors have been working on since the public last commented on the plaza design in March of 2008.

Congressman Brian Higgins said: “With this hurdle behind us, we can now move forward with a project that will not only construct a bridge but build our economic future. With a new Peace Bridge we add the predictability and capacity necessary to allow for the flow of traffic that can support and boost our manufacturing, retail, cultural, educational and medical industries.”

Ron Rienas, Executive Director of the B&FEPBA, said: “We believe the public will be pleased to see how closely we paid attention to their concerns and how hard we have been working to maximize the benefits of this project not only to Buffalo and the rest of the region, but also to the area that will host the project.”