Business and tourism interests in northern New York are praising an announcement by Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation, that up to 47-million dollars will be invested in infrastructure upgrades at the border crossing north of Plattsburgh.
The Champlain/Lacolle border crossing is the primary U.S.-Canadian crossing between New York and Quebec, with more than 1.1 million vehicles having passed through the crossing last year. It is also the fourth busiest commercial crossing along the entire U.S.-Canada border, with more than 20-billion dollars in goods crossing there in 2011. Since 2002, the U.S. has invested more than 170-million dollars in new facilities and infrastructure improvements at the crossing.
SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Economics and Finance Chair Colin Read believes that the announcement that Canada will now improve the Lacolle facilities will aid the region’s commercial and tourism industries.
Read believes the 47 million dollars may be one of the largest investments Canada has ever made to revamp a border.
The Canadian upgrades are also expected to be a boon for the tourism industry. The Adirondack Regional Tourism Council operates the first U.S. welcome center on the highway south of the border. Executive Director Ron Ofner says over 100-thousand people a year stop at the center and keeping people moving at the border is vital.
CDC Real Estate works extensively with Canadian clients. President Mark Barie says the Canadian investment will enhance the reputation of this crossing.
Transport Canada notes that the project is among those identified in what’s called the “Beyond the Border Action Plan” - a joint effort with the U.S. and Canada to enhance both country’s security and economies.