OGDENSBURG The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will include the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge in its tracking of traffic and wait times.
The move came after Rep. William L. Owens asked the agency to report the numbers for the Ogdensburg bridge.
Previously, the customs service said it did not track the data because of insufficient traffic over the bridge.
The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, which operates the crossing, had lobbied for months to be included on the report.
This is something weve been working on for some time now, said Wade A. Davis, authority executive director. Now if you are a U.S. or Canadian traveler, you can see in real time what the wait looks like.
Many travelers, especially those in the trucking industry, use the bridge traffic and wait-time numbers to choose where they will cross the border, said Samuel J. LaMacchia, authority chairman.
Travelers are going to take a look at the bridge and it will tell them how many lanes are open and how many people are waiting, he said. When they see what the wait times are like at our bridge, theyre going to come to Ogdensburg to cross.
Congressman Owens, D-Plattsburgh, hopes that the tracking will help even out traffic crossing the border and lead to increased commerce.
Tracking these wait times makes it easier for drivers leaving their homes to be aware of where border crossing delays are, said Sean Magers, an Owens spokesman. Hopefully, this will help even out traffic across the bridges, therefore easing traffic across the board, which I imagine would increase commerce near the bridges.