June 21, 2018 9:28 pm

Lansdowne border crossing construction, upgrades complete at cost of $60 million

Three year renovation of Lansdowne border crossing expected to speed up crossings.

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A three-year, $60 million rebuild of the Lansdowne border crossing is expected to improve the processing rate of both commercial and individual traffic crossing the border.

According to the Canada Border Services Agency, there were 1.5 million crossings at Lansdowne.

CBSA President John Ossowski says technological improvements like NEXUS and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology will expedite border processing.

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“One of the key issues that an officer has to decide on is, fundamentally, am I going to let you or whatever you’re bringing with you into the country?” Ossowski said.

“The more we know about you in advance, the lower the level the risk is, the faster we can make you go through.”

Micheline Dube, CEO of the Federal Bridge Corporation, credits the region’s former member of parliament with moving the renovation forward.

“Member of Parliament Gord Brown,” Dube specified. “At the time we had a conservative government in Canada, and Gord Brown was the Conservative M.P. instrumental in securing the funding for this crossing.”

READ MORE: Cross-border trade focus of eastern Canadian premiers, U.S. governors meeting in Charlottetown

The point of entry building has been expanded to 75,000 square feet, roughly three times what it was before.

Traffic lanes have also been expanded from 8 to 14. Five lanes are for commercial vehicles, one is for buses and eight are regular vehicles.

Mark Holland, member of parliament for Ajax, represented Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale at the day’s proceedings.

Holland says the improvements will play a role in expanding trade,the economy, and potentially attracting business to the region.

READ MORE: Ontario yarn shop owner speaks out after being denied entry at U.S. border

“Any communities anywhere along the border having enhanced border facilities, having the ability to cross more rapidly, means that there’s more opportunities for investment,” Holland said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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