Ogdensburg bridge traffic continues rebound, still below pre-pandemic totals

Mar. 17—OGDENSBURG — Traffic over the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge is continuing to grow, but remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Steven J. Lawrence talked about the most recent numbers during the OBPA board's March 9 meeting.

He says the American mandate requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccine for foreign travelers entering the country may be contributing to the latest bridge traffic totals.

"The U.S. (COVID-19 vaccine) requirement might be leaving in May," Mr. Lawrence told the OBPA Board of Directors. "That might open up more travel and traffic to the U.S. ... but I can't say that for sure."

He added that the figures are "trending better" over the last three years, but they're "not coming back as fast as we'd like."

Auto crossings for February totaled 28,164, down 21.5% from 2019 and up 217.5% over 2022. All other crossings, which includes freight trucks, tallied 5,074 for last month, down 10.3% from February 2019 and down 2.6% from 5,211 during the same month last year. Total crossings for February 2023 numbered 33,238. That's down 20% from 41,526 in 2019 and up 136% from 14,082 the same month last year. Bridge revenue for February came in at $82,600, which is down from $106,063 from the same month in 2019 and up from $31,882 collected in February of 2022.

Mr. Lawrence said the total crossings were "ahead of what we estimated." He said commercial truck traffic "acts like it normally does, depending on weather and circumstances. Some months go up quite a bit and others, in good, weather you wonder why it drops off."

"I think truck traffic's going to hold its own going forward," he added.