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AUTHORITY TO STUDY PROJECTS LINKED TO PEACE BRIDGE PLANS

Plans by the Peace Bridge Authority for building new access roads and a reconstructed plaza on the U.S. side, major projects that would be linked to a planned second bridge now being challenged by some community leaders, will be reviewed at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Central Library's Mason O. Damon Auditorium.

The international Peace Bridge Authority has prepared three alternatives for access roads, a project that is scheduled to be completed by 2000. The authority has $23.5 million in federal funding authorized for the road project.

All options would remove roads from historic Front Park and route traffic to eliminate much of the problem with cars and trucks crisscrossing near the bridge tollbooths.

One access-road option supported by city officials calls for an off-ramp from the Niagara Thruway to Porter Avenue, which would require demolition of up to 11 buildings in the Lakeview Homes public housing complex.

The renovation of the U.S. plaza would not begin until at least 2005.

Costs of the plaza options have not been finalized, but architects say 30 percent of the project could be avoided if the authority is allowed to relocate many inspection and toll operations to Canada.

All of the plaza and road options fit in with the authority's intention to build a second bridge by 2002.

A group of community leaders led by businessman John S. Cullen has objected strongly to the authority's current $65 million plan for twinning the bridge and is suggesting an alternative six-lane bridge be built farther upstream at the north end of LaSalle Park.

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