ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - With the U.S. - Canadian border still closed to ordinary traffic, the Thousand Islands bridge is taking a big financial hit.
The U.S. and Canada have extended the shutdown several times, because of continuing concerns about COVID-19.
The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority reports its revenue has been cut in half, losing out on $2 million over the last 5 months, since the border was closed to non-essential travel.
Executive Director Timothy Sturick says it’s been tough.
“Things are difficult. Without having the cross border traffic it’s really putting a hurting,” Sturick said Friday.
Sturick said passenger traffic is down about 60 percent this year and commercial traffic has also seen a decrease, down 10 percent. Commercial traffic is about 60 percent of the bridge’s revenue and with the Canadian border still closed, the bridge isn’t seeing the same traffic it usually would in the summer.
Sturick said the Bridge Authority had to dip into it’s reserve funding to complete ongoing projects and fund day-to-day operations.
However, He wants tourists to know there is plenty to explore in the area, even with the border closed.
“We have great state parks on Wellesley Island, as well as along the river. Boldt Castle is open. There is a lot of tourism-related stuff in this area that people can come to and enjoy and don’t have to cross the border and vice versa,” he said.
Canadian and US officials have agreed to keep the border closed until at least September 21.