In a letter sent to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator J. Richard Capka, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) is requesting expeditious review and approval of environmental documents which will advance the construction of a new Peace Bridge.
“Western New York is burdened with a vulnerable economy, one which relies upon cross border tourism and commerce,” said Congressman Higgins. “I am urging the FHWA to allow for immediate approval of Peace Bridge construction documents free of any conditions which could cause unnecessary and disastrous delays on a project which is long overdue.”
The Public Bridge Authority (PBA) which oversees the new construction process locally, very recently submitted a "pre-draft environmental impact statement" for the construction of a new span, roadways to serve the bridge, and customs plaza to the FHWA.
"Submission of these environmental documents to FHWA is a significant milestone, and it is important that no further unnecessary regulatory impediments are added at this juncture," said Higgins.
It is anticipated that after the review by FWHA, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement will go through a public comment period later this year. That would be followed by a "Record of Decision" in early 2008 which would green-light property acquisition and final design and would be followed by bridge and plaza construction.