Earlier this week, the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced completion of two U.S. General Services Administration projects to install new variable message signage units at the Peace Bridge and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.
This signage is intended to provide clear instructions to direct U.S.-bound cars and trucks toward available CBP primary inspection lanes and also provide greater flexibility in Trusted Traveler (NEXUS) and Ready Lane configurations.
In addition, the signage will provide instantaneous or "click of a button" updating from port supervisor consoles, allowing the plazas to make more rapid adjustments to real-time traffic situations and queuing patterns.
"The LED signage fits with Customs and Border Protection's Active Lane Management strategy and allows operations to adapt to specific traffic demands on the facilities," said CBP Acting Director of Field Operations Randy Howe. "This LED signage is an excellent upgrade to the Peace Bridge and Lewiston facilities."
"These signs make it much, much easier for motorists to determine which inspection lanes are open at the Peace Bridge," said PBA General Manager Ron Rienas. "They also provide an aesthetic update for the plaza that, unlike past flip board and static-lit signage, will be really hard to miss."
"The new variable message signs at Lewiston are a significant improvement over the previous signs and add flexibility for CBP," said NFBC General Manager Lew Holloway. "The improved signage saves time and confusion by guiding travelers to the proper lanes, which could add up to real time savings for travelers over the course of a busy day."
There were 18 color variable message signs installed at the Peace Bridge, while another 10 were installed at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Design of the project was initiated in late 2011, with site construction completed in fall 2012.
The signs are able to showcase different informational messages, including closure notices, specific vehicle-type directions (truck, bus, RV, auto), and many other basic communications.
To complement the variable message signage effort, the PBA also undertook a $150,000 traffic statistics interface system upgrade, which will synchronize with the new signs and allow for further automation of crossing data collection.