Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Feds investing $10M to upgrade border facility

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THOSE long lines at the Emerson border crossing might get some help as the federal government invests $10 million to upgrade the Canada Border Services facility.

But don't expect to make a fast break for the border and get at those lower prices at Target just yet. It will be 2017 before most of the upgrades are completed and Ottawa is awaiting the results of a study before deciding exactly what it plans to do.

The upgrade, promised in the recent budget, was announced by Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen Monday.

The Emerson Port of Entry was listed as a priority border crossing in the Beyond the Border Action Plan, signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama in December 2011. A joint study by Manitoba and North Dakota is currently looking at what can be done to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow, and most of the $10 million will be spent fulfilling the recommendations of that study.

The next draft from that study is expected in 2014.

It's expected it will recommend new booths dedicated for commercial traffic, reconfiguring the traffic lanes, and likely a new processing centre to accommodate cross-border bus traffic.

Construction won't begin on the changes until 2015 and will take up to two years to complete.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 4, 2013 A10

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