October 25, 2004

Nexus fast-lane opened at Pacific Highway border crossing

Ottawa, Ontario – On Friday, Industry Minister David Emerson, on behalf of Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre, together with British Columbia Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon, announced the completion of a southbound dedicated NEXUS/FAST lane at the Pacific Highway border crossing.

“The construction of this lane will help improve traffic flow, expedite border crossings and enhance the safety and efficiency of Highway 15,” said Mr. Lapierre. “This is good news for both commercial traffic dependent on this crossing to move their goods across the U.S. border and the surrounding residential and commercial neighbourhoods.”

The improvements, which began this summer, were undertaken to improve the safety and efficiency at the Pacific Highway border crossing. They include the construction of a NEXUS lane for low-risk users who have passed a rigorous security screening process by both Canada and U.S. customs; a FAST truck lane for registered commercial vehicles; a truck staging area; and a new two-lane road behind the duty free building to give access to the truck parking lot and staging area and to keep non-FAST trucks from blocking the NEXUS and FAST lanes.

NEXUS and FAST are joint Canada-U.S. initiatives involving the Canada Border Services Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. These programs are designed to expedite movement across the border for pre approved, low-risk travellers and goods.

Over $23.9 billion in goods are transported between British Columbia and the United States each year by commercial vehicles. The Pacific Highway crossing is Canada’s fifth busiest border crossing – averaging over 3,000 truck crossings per day.

“Road congestion drives up costs and hurts the competitiveness of our goods,” said Mr. Falcon. “In the Lower Mainland, traffic congestion costs our economy as much as $1.5 billion a year. These new lanes will improve traffic flow for commercial vehicles, allowing products to get to their markets more efficiently.”

Under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) agreement, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are providing joint funding of $30.4 million until March 2006 for border improvement projects in the province. The Canada/B.C. SHIP agreement, signed March 5, 2002, is part of the national $600 million SHIP program announced in April 2001.

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