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Thread: The New Peace Bridge

  1. #1
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    The New Peace Bridge

    Three-arch bridge design leads the pack
    3/24/2004

    NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. - A span with three arches, each similar in height and length and together crossing the Niagara River above the bridge's deck, emerged as the favored design Tuesday among residents who sit on an advisory committee for the Peace Bridge expansion study.
    Two designs of a two-tower, cable-stayed bridge received slightly fewer votes to finish second and third.

    "I really like the drama of the cable-stayed bridges," said Barbara Palazzo of Pendleton, a member of the Bi-National Civic Advisory Committee for the Peace Bridge expansion project, among the three-dozen U.S. and Canadian members who voted at a meeting at Niagara College.

    Still, the three designs are for a companion span to the Peace Bridge. Palazzo said that troubles her because "we're forced to design a bridge not because it looks good but because it doesn't make the other bridge look bad."

    "I think the result would be a mediocre design - not a signature bridge," she said.

    None of the other 32 designs came close to matching the kind of support generated by the three most-favored concepts. Each of the committee members had 15 votes they could use to support any of the bridge designs, with five votes being the most they could cast for any one design.

    The three-arch design received 72 votes, and the two cable-stayed designs received 67 and 62 votes, respectively. They'll be further evaluated by the public at a workshop in April.

    Tuesday's meeting was designed to winnow to 10 the number of concepts to be evaluated at the April workshop. The twin-span design initially approved by the Peace Bridge Authority in 1998, then abandoned later in the face of legal and public pressure, got 10 votes. The low level of support it received means it probably will not be considered any further.

    Palazzo said the three-arch bridge design poses one potential problem, "because I'm a little concerned about having too many piers in the water."

    Arlene White of Fort Erie, Ont., a consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation, said she voted for the three-arch design because it complements the 1927 Peace Bridge.

    "I like the arches of the existing bridge," White said. "That's why I like the arches in the new design."

    The construction of the three-arch bridge would cost about $100 million.

    The two-tower cable-stayed designs are similar in appearance, but the height of the towers would differ.

    One version would use twin pylons and each of the towers would be the same height. The easterly tower would be located on the west side of the Black Rock Canal and the westerly tower would align with one of the piers of the existing bridge about 120 meters from the western shore of the river.

    The cables would connect to the outside edges of the roadways and run up the outside face of the towers.

    Each tower would look like an inverted "Y."

    The estimated construction cost is between $110 million and $120 million.

    The other cable-stayed concept, an asymmetric design, also has two inverted Y-shaped towers, although the eastern tower would be significantly taller than the western tower.

    Several members said they are troubled by the cost estimates of maintaining the existing bridge over 75 years, pegged by Peace Bridge consultants at $25 million to $30 million. That estimate does not include any substantial pier work. Jeff Belt, a New Millennium Group member, said "$70 million to $80 million would be my guess" for how much the maintenance costs would run.

    "This would not stand up in a court of law," said former District Attorney Edward C. Cosgrove, now in private practice, about the cost estimates.

    He called for an independent analysis of the cost projections. "I think they're presenting information that supports the view of the Peace Bridge Authority," Cosgrove said. "I don't know if the public can rely on these figures."

    from the Buffalo News

    ---------------------------

    IMO- aren't they making too much of this bridge thing? Who care what it looks like as long at it suits its purpose of connecting America and Canada. First it was said about a single signature span, then there was talk of a twin of what we already have and now this... a three arch design.

  2. #2
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Just build an efficient bridge. THe bridge which would cost the tax payer the least amount of money to operate over time. We do not need a bridge which is expensive to maintain even if it provided maintance job positions.

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    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Building a "signature" bridge isn't necessarily more expensive (although it could be). They could spend the same amount of money on an identical twin bridge.

    Also, I think some people want a modern bridge for valid reasons. The buffalo skyline hasn't changed since the ugly HSBC building went up 30 years ago. It's depressing not to have any progress. And the city image does have some affect on attracting outside businesses. Getting an updated look for the bridge will do a little to improve the image of the city.

    I'm NOT saying a cool bridge will fix buffalo's problems or attract new business, but you also can't ignore that IMAGE is important when attracting companies. The fundamentals like taxes are the most important of course... but we can't ignore image and PR too.

    It's like we as a city keep going to job interviews wearing a suit from 1975. Sometimes you need to make an investment in your appearance.

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    Member citymouse's Avatar
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    Am I missing something here?
    This is not San Francisco. all we want to do is get from here to there as quickly as possible. The bridge is not near the downtown skyline. Who cares how fancy it is.
    I think they should have dug a tunnel anyway. End of debate, end of delay.
    "If you want to know what God thinks of money just look at the people he gave it to."

    By the way, what happened to biker? I miss the old coot.

  5. #5
    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Originally posted by citymouse
    Who cares how fancy it is.

    obviously many people do, or there wouldn't be the big debate about it.

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    Member citymouse's Avatar
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    Dig the tunnel and be done with it.
    "If you want to know what God thinks of money just look at the people he gave it to."

    By the way, what happened to biker? I miss the old coot.

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    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    obviously many people do, or there wouldn't be the big debate about it.

    This is something that should not have been open to choice. Now we have a hundred different people wanting a hundred different things and if one doesn't get what he/she wants, then they'll cry like a baby.

    What would have been the smart thing to do was to just say it's going to be one specific design and that would have been the end of it. The one design that costs the least amount of money but serving in the same way.

    I hear what you're saying 300miles and for the most part I agree but IMO- I think Buffalo is beyond the beautification point when it comes to this bridge. I think it's been focus too much on the spending aspects and the fundimental purpose is being overlooked. All we really need is something new and safe to get from point A to point B no matter what it looks like- especially if we're going to be driving on it.

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    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    Dig the tunnel and be done with it.

    That's a good thought citymouse, but unfortunately IMO- the Peace Bridge has been of historical status here and tearing it down with nothing over the Niagara River would seem like an end to the friendship (we share) which connects us with Canada. I've always seen the Peace Bridge as two arms extended outward and joined in the middle as a handshake between two old friends.

    We have to have a Peace Bridge, just one that is of the most cost-efficient design.

  9. #9
    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Night Owl
    What would have been the smart thing to do was to just say it's going to be one specific design and that would have been the end of it. The one design that costs the least amount of money but serving in the same way.
    That is the difficult part of Leadership. If the govt made a decision then the public complains they're not involved. If the govt involves everybody then nothing gets done efficiently.

    Unfortunately the decision was originally done by the mysterious peace bridge authority that isn't required to backup its decisions... and even if the buffalo govt was directly involved, no-one trusts them to make a good decision anyway.

    I agree with you guys that this big long process is annoying and we should have had a new (or twinned) bridge done by now. But I also think if we can build a signature bridge for about the same amount of money (or a small bit more) then we should pursue that. I guess I'm tired of settling for mediocre boring and functional. If it costs the same anyway - give it some excitement.


    As for a tunnel... (and to go on a tangent...) I think replacing the Skyway with a tunnel would be the way to go! Of course that's more money we don't have. oh well.

  10. #10
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    If it costs the same anyway - give it some excitement.

    This I agree with 300miles. I have no direct selection of how I would like it look, just as long as it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to do it.

  11. #11
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    If you had two scenarios..

    A bridge that employeed 40 maintance workers that cost $30,000,000 with a yearly maintance cost of $5,000,000 for supplies.

    or a bridge that cost $35,000,000 but employeed 10 maintance workers with a maintance cost of $5,000,000 for supplies.

    what would buffalo goverment pick or what would a business pick?

  12. #12
    Member citymouse's Avatar
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    There is a lot of symbolism to the tunnel. It represents the big hole western New York is falling into. The drain of jobs to a another country. The interpretations are endless.
    "If you want to know what God thinks of money just look at the people he gave it to."

    By the way, what happened to biker? I miss the old coot.

  13. #13
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    There is a lot of symbolism to the tunnel. It represents the big hole western New York is falling into. The drain of jobs to a another country. The interpretations are endless.

    Since you put it that way citymouse, then I guess I can agree with you , but that's a negative representation of our area. The Peace Bridge is a postive symbol of our friendship with Canada and IMO- we need it overhead.

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