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.
Coordinates 43°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
Carries 6 lanes of QEW
Crosses Welland Canal
Locale St. Catharines, Ontario
Other name(s) Bridge 4A
Maintained by Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Characteristics
Design steel
Total length 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi)
Width 30 metres (98 ft)
History
Opened October 18, 1963
Statistics
Daily traffic 86900 (2008) [1]
Toll 1963-1973

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 km (1.37 miles)[2] in length and 40 metres (131 feet) 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, in honour of St. Catharines being 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 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.

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