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Archive: 2nd span to expand Peace Bridge

Originally published Oct. 17
A second span next to the existing Peace Bridge will be built as part of the expansion project.

The decision to quash replacement concepts was made Thursday, Oct. 6 by the design jury made up of 32 technical experts and lay people from Buffalo and Fort Erie.

A final bridge design will be chosen in early December.

The meeting was the second of four to be held to ponder 33 different design options.

The concept of a grand “signature” replacement of the 77-year-old bridge was one obstacle that led to the halt of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority’s 1999 expansion plan.

The companion span will be “an iconic bridge that would fulfill aspirations for a great crossing experience,” reads a press release from the jury.

Ted Ogilvie of Fort Erie and Robert Shibley of Buffalo are the jury co-chairs.

Eight lay jurors each were appointed by Mayor Wayne Redekop and Buffalo mayor Tony Masiello. The technical jurors were appointed by the PBA from involved agencies.

Ogilvie said that an important factor the jury considered was the huge roadblock the Peace’s Bridge’s U.S. designation as a historical landmark presented.

It would take years to overcome and millions of dollars would have to be spent and the U.S. Congress would have to approve.

The decision on a companion or a replacement was the “major issue of this whole thing,” Ogilvie said.

The members discussed issues of vision, aesthetics, public input, bridge function, costs, security and history in their evaluations.

Approximately half the options are now off the table, he said. The jury will next meet Nov. 3 to determine a general design concept — cable stayed or box and girder.

Following that, a final decision will be made Dec. 1.

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