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 Departmentof Environmental Conservation,US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada alsoexpressed 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-spanarch will be possible.”
Linda Figg of Figg Engineering Group has confirmed that she and Menn will collaborate on the designwhich 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.
Niki May Young