Niagara Falls MPP says Burlington Skyway closures are killing tourism

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Published July 18, 2023 at 11:38 am

Niagara Falls MPP says the weekend closures of the Burlington Skyway are negatively impacting tourism in Niagara Falls and suggested the government find better times for repair such as weekdays.

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates says he understands the importance of the repairs on the Burlington Skyway but he wonders why they’re being done on prime tourism days like Friday nights and now Saturdays.

“While I appreciate the investment in improving Ontario’s highway infrastructure,” Gates said in a letter to Premier Doug Ford, “the repairs on the Burlington Skyway Bridge, resulting in traffic closures on Friday evenings, are occurring during the absolute busiest times of year for the tourist industry in Niagara, and one of the busiest travel times and routes for in-province travel.”

Closures to the Burlington Skyway for repairs are shutting the bridge to all Niagara-bound traffic on Friday nights since they began earlier this month.

The planned July 21 closure has been shifted to Saturday (July 22) night, when the bridge will be closed from 10 pm until 11:30 am on Sunday, July 23.

However, it will return to Friday evenings on July 28 and August 11.

Compounding the problem is that the other route, the Canal Lift Bridge on Eastport Dr. also has lane closures, so drivers are having difficulty getting through the area.

The Skyway is a provincial highway and the Canal Lift Bridge is federal property.

In his conversations with tourism industry representatives, Gates said they have complained to him about countless Friday night reservations being cancelled, including hotel rooms, which has a trickle-down effect on restaurants and other tourism benefactors.

In his letter, which also went to Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Minister of Tourism Neil Lumsden, Gates said, “I am calling on you and your government to review changes to the planning of the repairs and the resulting closure times to a less disruptive time.”

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