December 16, 2004

QEW to be widened

St. Catharines, Ontario – The Governments of Canada and Ontario will fund a widening of the QEW through the Niagara region. The announcement was made today by Walt Lastewka, MP for St. Catharines, on behalf of Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre, together with Ontario Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar.

“The Queen Elizabeth Way is one of Canada’s busiest highways,” said Mr. Lapierre. “These improvement projects will help reduce bottlenecks, and are part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to a transportation system that meets environmental, social and economic goals.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $82.5 million, to be shared equally by the Governments of Canada and Ontario. Work is underway on the first phase of this initiative, a $15.2-million widening of the Henley Bridges in St. Catharines, and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007.

Summer traffic has grown by over 30,000 vehicles daily or 44 per cent on the QEW over the past 10 years and is expected to increase a further 40 per cent over the next ten years. Once this initiative is complete, the QEW will be widened from four to six lanes on key sections between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and from Highway 406 to the Garden City Skyway Bridge in St. Catharines to accommodate this growth.

The QEW, a major international trade corridor, is part of the National Highway System. The section being upgraded carries approximately 72,000 vehicles per day, of which about 17 per cent are commercial vehicles. The QEW also plays an important economic role, carrying 14 per cent of Canada’s trade by truck.

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