ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — The final phase of construction to widen the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) is now underway.
The QEW will be widened to six lanes from four along a 9.4-kilometre stretch, from Seventh Street Louth to the Garden City Skyway, through St. Catharines. The first phase of the project, the widening of the Henley Bridges in St. Catharines, is underway and is scheduled to be complete by fall 2007. Once complete, the entire QEW corridor, from Toronto to Niagara Falls, will have six lanes.
“The widening of this vital trade and travel corridor will help keep goods and people moving through Southern Ontario while reducing congestion and contributing to better air quality,” said Rick Dykstra, a St. Catharines MP.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation awarded its largest single highway contract ever, with a total value of $167 million, for the second phase of QEW construction. The successful contractor is Dufferin Construction Company of Oakville. The second phase of the project is scheduled to be complete in 2011. The total cost for phase 1 and 2 is approximately $183 million, with the Government of Canada providing up to $41 million and the Province of Ontario providing up to $142 million.
During construction, various measures will be used to minimize the impact on traffic for residents and drivers, including enhanced signage to inform motorists of alternate routes, and maintaining the existing number of lanes along the QEW whenever possible.
The Government of Canada’s funding for this project comes from the $600-million Border Infrastructure Fund. The fund provides financial assistance for infrastructure projects that reduce border congestion, improve the flow of goods and services and expand existing infrastructure.
This year, the Government of Ontario is investing over $1.7 billion in highway improvements through its five-year ReNew Ontario infrastructure investment plan.
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