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The Niagara Heritage Partnership opposes plans to convert the Whirlpool International Bridge to commercial truck traffic, which would handle between 300 to 500 vehicles per hour over the Niagara Gorge. 

Our concerns are as follows:

  • Exhaust fumes would be emitted into urban neighborhoods, where the burden of lung diseases and other illnesses related to air quality is already excessive, as documented by Dr. Jamson Lwebuga-Mukasa (MD, PhD) of the Medical School at the State University at Buffalo.  Additionally, recent studies by the EPA reveal the harm done by diesel exhaust is more serious than previously believed.
  • The noise of these vehicles would be continual in these same neighborhoods.
  • Large numbers of commercial trucks on a dedicated highway would have the effect of fragmenting the city of Niagara Falls.
  • The exhaust fumes, noise, and visual impacts would also seriously detract from the natural environment of the Niagara Gorge.
  • The National Park Service classifies the State Park at the Falls as “threatened/endangered,” primarily because of the visual commercial contamination of the Canadian environment and skyline.  The truck bridge proposal is an extension of this condition.
  • The Niagara region is in the process of pursuing a National Heritage Area designation, initiated by Senators Clinton and Schumer and Congressman LaFalce. The truck bridge proposal is contrary to this certification and preservation honor.
  • High volume commercial truck traffic would seriously detract from the new train station for arriving tourists planned by the City of Niagara Falls.
  • The Niagara River and its shorelines have been designated a Globally Significant Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society and a host of other organizations international in breadth.  This first international IBA is important to migrating and other birds: the endangered Peregrine falcon nests in the gorge; the Bald Eagle is a frequent visitor.  An additional commercial truck bridge in this location would introduce levels of noise, visual, and toxic pollution harmful to this natural environment.
  • The Niagara Heritage Partnership proposal for a more natural gorge rim landscape with hiking and bicycling trails would also be seriously compromised by this truck traffic.  Successfully marketing this area as a natural environment for ecotourists would be near impossible.
  • Nearly fifty organizations (list available at currently support the Niagara Heritage Partnership proposal.  While the Partnership does not speak for these groups in this matter, it seems highly unlikely that any of them would support the bridge conversion.
  • The economic success for private investors in the truck bridge idea is negatively related to the well being of Niagara region residents.  The higher the number of trucks, the more deleterious the effects for residents.




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Niagara Heritage Partnership

MPO Box 1495

Niagara Falls, New York 14302-1723