ST CATHARINES, ON: Efforts have wrapped up to widen the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) through St Catharines, a move the federal and provincial governments say will reduce congestion, improve safety and increase the flow of commercial vehicles crossing the border.
“This is great news for everyone who uses this highway,” said Jim Bradley, MPP for St Catharines. “By keeping traffic moving we are strengthening our economy and we will improve road safety for all.”
The total cost for the project was about $186 million, with the Government of Canada contributing $41.25 million and Ontario contributing $144.75 million. The Government of Canada’s funding for the project comes from the $600-million Border Infrastructure Fund, which provides assistance for infrastructure projects that reduce border congestion, improve the flow of goods and services and expand existing infrastructure.
The QEW is the major trade corridor linking the GTA to the Niagara region and the US. It’s the main transportation link to four international crossings—Queenston-Lewiston, Rainbow, Whirlpool and Peace Bridges—over the Niagara River to New York State.
The QEW was widened from four to six lanes along a 9.4-km stretch, from Highway 406 to the Garden City Skyway through St Catharines. The project’s first phase, the widening of Henley Bridge in St Catharines, was completed in 2007. The second one included the broadening of the QEW from two to three lanes in each direction; construction of a concrete median barrier; the addition of drainage capacity; replacement of two underpass structures; rehabilitation and widening of three overpass structures and one underpass structure; installation of noise walls in residential areas; and the addition of paved shoulders and lighting.