Garden City Skyway

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Garden City Skyway
Welland canal and skyway.JPG
A lake freighter transits the Welland Canal, with the Garden City Skyway bridge visible in the background. The smaller Homer Lift Bridge is also visible, opened to let the ship pass.
Coordinates43°10′02″N 79°11′43″W / 43.16731°N 79.19520°W / 43.16731; -79.19520Coordinates: 43°10′02″N 79°11′43″W / 43.16731°N 79.19520°W / 43.16731; -79.19520
Carries6 lanes of QEW
CrossesWelland Canal
LocaleSt. Catharines, Ontario
Other name(s)Bridge 4A, "The Skyway"
Maintained byOntario Ministry of Transportation
Characteristics
Designsteel
Total length2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi)
Width30 metres (98 ft)
History
OpenedOctober 18, 1963
Statistics
Daily traffic169,100 (2016)[1]
Toll1963-1973

The Garden City Skyway is a major high-level bridge located in St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, that allows the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to cross the Welland Canal without the interruption of a lift bridge. Six lanes of traffic are carried across the bridge, which is 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi)[2] in length and 40 metres (130 ft) at its tallest point. It is the tallest and largest single structure along the entire QEW; the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway, which is also part of the QEW, is actually two separate and smaller four-lane bridges.

Among all the bridges spanning the present Welland Canal, the Skyway is numbered Bridge 4A (the Homer Lift Bridge is Bridge 4).

Construction began in January 1960, with the main span crossing the Welland Canal hoisted into place in July of that same year. The bridge was open to traffic on October 18, 1963. During construction, the bridge was referred to as the Homer Skyway, taking its name from the lift bridge that the new skyway was to replace. Upon dedication, the bridge was officially named the Garden City Skyway, using the nickname of St. Catharines, "Canada's Garden City."

Tolls were charged on the bridge until 1973.

Should the Garden City Skyway be closed due to a traffic accident or weather conditions, traffic is diverted along frontage roads (Dieppe Road, Dunkirk Road, Glendale Avenue, Queenston Road, Taylor Road and York Road) to cross the canal at the Homer Lift Bridge, re-connecting to the QEW on the opposite side.

The construction work included an Ontario "tall-wall" concrete median barrier, new bridge parapets, and the installation of shaded high-pressure sodium lights using the existing truss poles.

In 2015, the high-pressure sodium lights on the bridge were replaced with bright white LED lights on the existing truss poles.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is actively pursuing studies with the goal of twinning the Skyway. The second bridge would be constructed north of the existing Skyway for Toronto-bound traffic, while the existing bridge would be used by vehicles heading toward Niagara.[3]

The Garden City Skyway in September 1963, soon before opening. The old bridge lay to the left, raised for a passing ship. Traffic is queued on both sides, a frequent occurrence each summer until the skyway was built.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Provincial Highways Traffic Volumes 2016" (PDF). Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Highway Standards Branch. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.qewgcs.ca/qewgcs/background.asp
  3. ^ "Twinning skyway plans move forward". St. Catharine's Standard. Retrieved 18 July 2019.