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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Peace Bridge, Buffalo,US/Fort Erie, Canada, United States

Christian Menn's design for a secondary bridge uniting America and Canada is scrapped to save threatened birds
Christian Menn's two-tower cable-stayed Peace Bridge design, chosen as the favoured design to unite America and Canada, has been scrapped following fears that the 567 ft high structure would cause problems for the local common tern and other migratory birds crossing the Niagara River corridor.

The renowned Swiss bridge architect won the design competition two years ago when a bi-national jury chose his design. But plans have been scrapped by the Federal Highway Administration, the lead federal agency involved in the project, following a review under the National Environment Policy Act(NEPA) which ruled the bridge would cause unacceptable danger to the birds. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada also expressed concerns over Menn's design.

Instead, Peace Bridge officials have over-ridden the decision by the design committee in favour of a 226 ft three-arch span designed by Figg Engineering Group.

Despite the turn-around on the original decision, Menn is understanding. He told local press: “I am not too disappointed about the requirements of the Federal Highway Administration. I am sure that a good solution with a three-span arch will be possible.”

Linda Figg of Figg Engineering Group has confirmed that she and Menn will collaborate on the design which was also submitted to the original committee. The new Peace Bridge will work with the existing Peace Bridge to extend the crossing capacity and reduce traffic congestion between America's Buffalo and Canada's Fort Erie.

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