12.16.15

SCHUMER SECURES $105M TO REBUILD & UPGRADE ALEXANDRIA BAY BORDER CROSSING; PROJECT HAS BEEN PLANNED FOR NEARLY A DECADE BUT STALLED BECAUSE OF A LACK OF FUNDING – SCHUMER SAYS BUDGET DEAL WILL FINALLY UNLOCK CRITICAL INVESTMENT AND IMPROVE REGIONAL ECONOMY

Federal Budget Agreement Includes Provision to Fully Fund Renovations to Alexandria Bay Border Crossing – Project Has Been Top Regional Priority for Years

Schumer Pushed for Necessary Funding to Upgrade the Alexandria Bay Broder Crossing, Which Handles Hundreds of Thousands of Vehicles and Over 1.5 million Passengers a Year

Schumer: Alexandria Bay Border Crossing Project – Lynchpin of the Local Economy – Finally Approved for Entry

Today, Senator Schumer announced that the federal budget agreement will include $105 million for upgrades and renovations to the Alexandria Bay border crossing. The project, which has been planned for nearly a decade, will include renovations to commercial and passenger vehicle inspection lanes, a commercial inspection warehouse, an impound lot and a new veterinary building. For nearly 10 years regional leaders have sought federal funding to upgrade the outdated plaza, because a continued lack of investment was hurting the regional economy and limiting the potential for growth in bi-national trade. Schumer made securing funding for this project a top priority, and today announced that the budget agreement reached in congress will include full funding for Phase I of this important project.

“Efficient and safe movement of people, goods, tourists and services across the border is the lifeblood of this region’s economy and that is why the long-hoped-for-but-never-realized dream to rebuild and modernize the Alexandria Bay border crossing was at the tippy-top of the North Country’s Christmas list. Well, I am happy to say that Christmas has just come a little early for the North Country in the form of a $105 million federal investment in a safe, modern and efficient border crossing that will spur tourism, business development, shopping and more.

“After nearly a decade of waiting, the Alexandria Bay border crossing will finally get the makeover it desperately needs, and the North Country will finally see the significant federal investment it deserves. This project has been a top priority because the existing facilities are inadequate to handle the hundreds of thousands of commercial and private vehicles that travel across the border each year, and the facilities limitations are holding back the regional economy. This $105 million federal investment will not only unlock future growth and decrease congestion throughout the Thousand Islands, it will also create hundreds of construction and other indirect jobs,” said Schumer.

Upgrades to the Alexandria Bay Border Crossing have been included in the last two budget requests, but both years Congress failed to provide the necessary funding to for the project. This year, in part because of Senator Schumer’s support, Congress finally appropriated the $105 million needed for Phase I of this important project. Phase I includes a commercial inspection warehouse with inspection bays, commercial inspection lanes (with split-level booths for either commercial or non-commercial), a new veterinary services building, impound lot, and a portion of the elevated parking over the commercial side. In addition, the two remaining necessary parcels of land will be acquired in Phase I. The funding of Phase I also sets the stage for Phase II of the project, which includes a new main administration building, a new outbound inspection facility, non-commercial inspection lanes, a new non-commercial secondary inspection plaza, new non-intrusive inspection (NII) buildings, and employee and visitor parking areas.

Senator Schumer highlighted that the project will address traffic issues by expanding the queuing area, increasing the number of primary inspection lanes, increasing the area for secondary inspection, providing safe and secure vehicle parking, and a safe well-defined truck queuing and maneuvering areas. Schumer said that these changes, when added together, will go a long way toward addressing congestion and backups at the border that have often frustrated travelers and hindered economic growth.

In addition to the construction jobs created by such a large project, improvements to border crossings like Alexandria Bay can also have a number of other regional economic benefits. Reducing congestion at the border will help to improve regional tourism which is critical to the local economy as well as expand bi-national trade. More than 867,900 jobs in New York State are supported by tourism related activities, and spending in New York State by visitors totaled $62.5 billion in 2014. By reducing congestion at the Alexandria Bay border crossing those numbers will only continue to grow in coming years.

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