‘Business as usual’: Thousand Islands bridge contract renewed

In this May 2018 Google Maps image, a truck passes over the Thousand Islands International Bridge near Lansdowne, Ont. The Federal Bridge Corporation and the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority has renewed a 10 year contract to operate the bridge. (Google Maps via Newswatch Group)

OTTAWA – The Federal Bridge Corporation says it’s renewed a 10 year operating contract with the authority for the Canada-U.S. bridge at Lansdowne.

The FBCL says the agreement with the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority (TIBA) was signed by authorities on both sides of the border on Dec. 20, 2019 in Collins Landing, N.Y.

The agreement addresses operations, management, toll rates, capital work, safety and security.

FBCL spokesman Todd Kealey told Brockville Newswatch the agreement means it will be “business as usual” for the next decade and “no changes are expected, nothing dramatic.”

“Really this means continuity and nothing alarming for anybody,” he said.

Most of the capital work will include regular maintenance over the next 10 years.

“We’re always looking at things that we can do that are different and useful to people,” Kealey explained.

That includes a 25KW fast charging port for electric vehicles that was installed in November 2019 at the duty free store on the Canadian side. A formal announcement will be coming shortly.

“Acknowledging the fact that the bridge is a means to an end and not a destination in itself, we wanted people to be able to plug in and charge as fast as they can.”

There is also a plan to close the loop on fiber optic service that runs across the bridge. An American company has run fiber from the U.S. to Canada. “In the coming months, I’ll be looking for a Canadian partner to use the right-of-way across the bridge to bring fiber optic services,” Kealey told Brockville Newswatch.

He says the Federal Bridge Corporation reviews toll rates every six months “but there’s nothing in the forecast to do any changes.”

The Thousand Islands Bridge saw 2,046,000 vehicles cross last year, which is up slightly from 1.9 million in 2018.

Of those crossings in 2019, around 1.6 million were cars and 383,000 were trucks.

The Federal Bridge Corporation and the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority have had a partnership for roughly 30 years.