The official announcement of the building of a new Peace Bridge came in 1997, but discussion of what to do about the problems of traffic congestion on the dated span go back as far as the 1970s, with urgency building through the 1980s and 1990s.
By the time several alternative plans were unveiled for possible replacements in 2000, the whole idea of a new Peace Bridge had become a worn-out joke around Western New York.
“And they’ll build a new Peace Bridge soon, too” replaced the “and Christmas is coming, too” punch line in conversations all along the Niagara Frontier.
Adding endangered birds, neighborhood protests and 15 years to the story since these designs were unveiled has only strengthened the incredulity with which Buffalonians look at their ineffective border crossing with Fort Erie, Ont.
"The option of a majestic cable-stay bridge that connects to a new northern plaza combines the aesthetics this community deserves with the practicality necessary to capture the economic benefits of increased truck traffic. And it does that while restoring Front Park and freeing the lower West Side from the intrusive effects of smoke-belching rigs rumbling through the neighborhood."