Study Purpose & Background
The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) is Ontario’s oldest freeway, dating back to the 1930s.
The QEW is a critical element in the provincial highway network and is one of Ontario’s
most important transportation facilities in terms of trade, commuter and tourist traffic.
The QEW links the Canada-United States border crossings at Niagara Falls and Fort Erie
with Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe and beyond.
The QEW Garden City Skyway is a forty-eight span high-level bridge that is 2.2 km
long, 28 m wide and carries the QEW over the Welland Canal, connecting the City of St.
Catharines and Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. At the crossing of the Welland Canal, the
bridge is approximately 40 m high. The bridge was built in 1963 and has since undergone
various repairs. The bridge substructure is currently undergoing maintenance work.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has retained McCormick Rankin Corporation
(MRC) to undertake a Class Environmental Assessment to determine a long-term strategy
to address the structural, traffic safety, and operational needs of the QEW crossing of the
Welland Canal. This includes the generation and evaluation of alternatives for the QEW
Garden City Skyway.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Transportation is also undertaking the Niagara to
GTA Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment Study to examine
transportation problems and opportunities and consider alternative solutions in the
Niagara, Hamilton and Halton areas. The QEW Garden City Skyway is located within the
study area for that project. Project details are available at: www.niagara-gta.com.