Best Times to Cross Niagara Bridges This Weekend

Labor Day means busy bridges; Whirlpool Bridge suspends construction

LEWISTON, NY, August 30, 2012 – The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, operator of the Lewiston-Queenston, Rainbow and Whirlpool bridges, anticipates elevated numbers of crossings as many Americans head to and from Canada during the long Labor Day weekend.

“It’s important to remember that crossing the border at off-peak hours, even by an hour or two, can help travelers get to where they’re headed faster,” said NFBC General Manager Lew Holloway. “Traffic typically peaks in the late morning and early afternoons into the United States and late afternoons and evenings returning to Canada.”

To help ensure smooth and rapid crossings of its three Niagara River bridges this weekend, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission officials today reminded motorists to take advantage of NEXUS, and choose non-peak travel times as often as possible.

The NEXUS-only Whirlpool Bridge is currently under construction; however, in observance of the holiday, it will be fully opened to traffic in both directions for NEXUS users from Thursday through Monday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. in both directions.

The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge entering Canada will have 10 inspection lanes available, with six passenger and four commercial lanes entering the United States. When busy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will use up to three of the commercial lanes to process cars. At the Rainbow Bridge, the number of car inspection lanes – 18 into the U.S. and 15 into Canada.

“We know travelers are looking forward to reaching their destinations, but we ask that everyone keep in mind duty, tax and security considerations and be patient when crossing,” Holloway said. “Having proper identification – including a passport, passport card, NEXUS, or enhanced driver’s license – ready for presentation to the Customs inspector will help speed up your crossing.”

Several methods are available so motorists crossing the three bridges the commission operates between Canada and the United States can obtain up-to-date information about traffic flow. The commission and other border-crossing agencies offer a host of information sources via the Web, Twitter, toll-free phone lines and radio broadcasts. They include:

  • The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s toll free number: 1-800-715-6722 or 511
  • Radio updates on 1610 AM
  • NITTEC highway dynamic message signs with posted delays beyond 30 minutes
  • Free personalized email or text notification from
  • Twitter:
  • The following websites:



About the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission

A Joint Resolution of the 1938 U.S. Congressional Third Session created the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. The Extra Provincial Corporations Act of the Province of Ontario, Canada licenses the NFBC. Canada and the U.S. are equally represented on the NFBC by an eight-member Board of Commissioners.  Initially established to finance, construct and operate the Rainbow Bridge, the Commission proved sufficiently efficient and effective to assume responsibilities for the Whirlpool Rapids (Lower) and Lewiston-Queenston Bridges.  The NFBC builds and maintains all facilities for Customs and Immigration functions on both sides of the international border. The NFBC is self-supportive, largely through user fees (tolls) and private-sector tenant leases. NFBC is federally chartered to conduct international commercial financial transactions and issue federal (U.S.) tax-exempt bonds.

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