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Snowstorms, road closures cost Thousand Islands Bridge Authority revenue

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — In addition to frustrating motorists, the recent snowstorms and the temporary closure of Interstate 81 cost the Thousand Islands Bridge tens of thousands of dollars to start the new year.

According to numbers for the first 20 days of January, the bridge saw 70,316 passenger and commercial vehicles, a 7.7 percent decline from the 76,212 vehicles that traveled through during the same period last year.

During that time, the bridge generated $319,088.75 in revenue — down $30,537.25, or 8.7 percent, from the $349,626 generated during the same 20-day period last year.

Robert G. Horr III, executive director of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, told the board during its monthly meeting Thursday that the closure of I-81 near the beginning of the month essentially took away a day and a half of business. However, he said, the traffic and revenue drop could have been worse. “We didn’t take as big of a hit as we thought or expected,” he said.

The potential drop in traffic also could be linked to the declining value of the Canadian dollar.

Despite the recent dip, overall the traffic at the bridge is steady, or in cases improving. From March to December, the bridge had a 0.1 percent decline in passenger vehicles, but a 4.1 percent jump in commercial traffic. During the 10-month period, the bridge has seen a 17.5 percent jump in gross revenues from the previous year, from $6,263,243 to $7,361,088.

Thursday’s authority meeting was the first for Natalie Kinloch, who replaced John M. Kroon on the board. Mrs. Kinloch is the chief financial and administrative officer for the Federal Bridge Corp., Ottawa.

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