Replacement of CBSA facilities at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge

ACTION TO BEGIN SHORTLY

OTTAWA, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL), a Crown corporation, and the St. Mary's River Bridge Company (SMRBC), the Canadian owner of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge and a wholly-owned subsidiary of FBCL, wish to inform the public that the detailed design for the replacement of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilities at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge will begin in December 2009.

The existing CBSA facilities at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge need to be replaced as the buildings are overcrowded, functionally obsolete and operationally deficient.

An environmental assessment was initiated by FBCL in July 2007 and signed off in June 2009.

Funding of approximately $44.1M has been allocated by the federal government in early fall through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. The project's design and construction activities will be spread over approximately five years.

For Mr. James McIntyre, Chairman of SMRBC, "The replacement of the CBSA facilities is made possible through a $44M contribution agreement between SMRBC and the Government of Canada to cover the costs. While some purchases of lands have been completed, the remaining land acquisitions necessary are underway and are expected to continue in 2010-2011".

While attending a meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, Mrs. Micheline Dubé, CEO of FBCL added that "The new facilities will be designed by a team of engineers, architects and planners to accommodate growing traffic volumes and new pre-clearance systems and technologies. We are delighted to announce that EPOH Inc, a Sault Ste. Marie based architectural and engineering firm, was awarded the contract for the detailed design of the project. The Corporation is very proud to be working hand-in-hand with our subsidiary SMRBC, the bridge's owner.

Mr. Glenn Hewus, Senior Vice-President, Engineering and Construction of FBCL, added that "Proactive project management over the last few years also led to the completion of a master plan for the replacement project in 2008. We are now ready to proceed with the first steps in the construction of a new, modern and efficient facility and plaza infrastructure".

Demolition of some Queen Street buildings will begin this winter while new building construction is planned for the fall 2010

    
    BACKGROUNDER
    ------------

        The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited

    -   The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) was established in 1998
        to oversee and be accountable for the bridges under its control and
        to provide strategic direction to the asset operators under its
        jurisdiction. Its mission is to provide the highest level of
        custodianship so that its bridge structures are safe and efficient
        for users. Also, the Corporation provides expertise and advice to the
        federal government with regard to design, building, maintenance and
        operation of bridges.

    -   Headquartered in Ottawa, FBCL is responsible for operating and
        managing structures including properties of its wholly-owned
        subsidiaries, The St. Mary's River Bridge Company (SMRBC), The
        Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) in
        Montreal and, in a joint venture with its U. S. partner, the Seaway
        International Bridge Corporation, Ltd. (SIBC) in Cornwall.

    -   FBCL also assumes responsibility for the Canadian portion of the
        Thousand Islands International Bridge with the Thousand Islands
        Bridge Authority (TIBA - a U.S. government organization) being the
        operating agency.

    -   Under the FBCL are three international bridges in Ontario and six
        structures in the Greater Montreal area. Its bridges are some of the
        most important fixed-link crossings in Canada. Each year, close to
        150 million vehicles cross FBCL's structures, making them among the
        busiest in North America. These structures play a vital role in
        connecting Canada's transportation and economic network with the
        world.


    BACKGROUNDER
    ------------

        The St. Mary's River Bridge Company

    -   The St. Mary's River Bridge Company (SMRBC) was incorporated by a
        Special Act in 1955 and, more recently, on July 18, 2008, it was
        continued under section 18 of the Canada Business Corporations Act.

    -   On September 1, 2009, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of FBCL.

    -   SMRBC acquired the Canadian half of the Sault Ste. Marie
        International Bridge from the International Bridge Authority (IBA),
        the U. S. government agency that operates the crossing.

    -   IBA reports to a joint international board of directors, the Sault
        Ste Marie Bridge Authority (SSMBA). IBA has a long-term plan in place
        for operating the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge on a self-
        sustaining basis to cover all operating, capital and debt payments to
        the year 2040.

    -   As owner of the Canadian half of the Sault Ste. Marie International
        Bridge, SMRBC receives the Canadian share of surpluses generated from
        toll revenues. These surpluses are expected to fund capital projects
        on the Canadian side and meet other financial responsibilities.

    -   The new technically more modern and efficient facility and plaza
        infrastructure project will result in:

        -  increased border security requirements;

        -  an anticipated increase in commercial truck traffic arising from
           Sault Ste. Marie's multi modal initiative; and

        -  a new truck route from Highway 17 (Carmen's Way) to the current
           Canadian Plaza.

    -   The project will take four years and the scope of work will involve
        the construction of:

        -  7 primary inspection lanes comprising: 4 passenger lanes, 2 bi-
           level lanes for cars and trucks and 1 truck lane;

        -  a bus inspection area;

        -  a new traffic and commercial facilities, widening of the bridge
           approach ramp and new infrastructure, including support for NEXUS
           and the Free and Secure Trade (or "FAST") frequent traveller
           programs; and

        -  a new building to house brokerage operations and a duty free shop.
    

SOURCE The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited

For further information: For further information: André Girard, Vice-President, Communications, The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited, (613) 998-8427, andre.girard@federalbridge.ca

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The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited

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