Construction of The Peace Bridge in Buffalo New York
What can construction do for an area? The construction of an office building may bring in a firm, corporation, or company. The construction of a sporting arena may keep a team where it currently is, or bring a new team to that area. For example, the construction of the HSBC Arena kept the Sabres in Buffalo. The construction of a casino may bring in tourists, or people who live in the outlying suburbs. It seems obvious that all of the prior examples bring economic growth and development to that certain place. However, there is a less obvious question to be asked. If a new bridge is built what can that bring to an area? In the case of Buffalo, many people believe economic revival.
Personally, I have lived in Buffalo my entire life. Last summer I worked at the Peace Bridge in a tollbooth. Working at the Peace Bridge and living in Buffalo have resulted in me taking a great interest in the building of a new bridge. This new bridge just may bring prosperity back to Buffalo.
A privately owned company constructed the current Peace Bridge in 1927. It became a link between Fort Erie, Canada and Buffalo, New York. The bridge is over one mile long, 5,800 feet, and holds three lanes of traffic. The center lane may go north or south depending on the volume of traffic. In 1934, the Great Depression caused a change. The Peace Bridge became publicly owned. As a result there were no taxes to be paid, and financing for projects could be obtained by issuing bonds at a low interest rate. The publicly owned bridge instituted a board of governors called the Peace Bridge Authority, PBA. The board, which made all decisions, was made up of six Americans and three Canadians. From that time until 1996 there were few changes made. Only some minor renovations took place. The renovations were the repaving and repainting of the bridge, and the addition of new traffic lights and tollbooths.
February of 1996 marked an important change. This was the changing of the board of governors. It was changed to five Americans, instead of six, and five Canadians, instead of three. Now there was even representation from both countries, the American majority was eliminated. Only two months later, in April of 1996, the PBA announced plans to build a new bridge. Since that time, there have been some structural plans drawn, but there have been no strong indications that a bridge will be built soon. The building of the new bridge will be completely self-funded. There will be no money used from taxes in the United States or Canada. All of the money will come from tollbooth collections, and from money the PBA makes from leasing land. The leased land is land that is owned by the PBA, and is located in the surrounding area of the Peace Bridge. The PBA has never relied on funding support from the governments of the United States or Canada. They will not receive any for the building of the new bridge. The...