Photo by: CityNews
Since March 2020, the Ministry of Transportation, in partnership with the Niagara Region, has been hard at work in designing and reconstructing a brand new highway interchange between the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and Glendale Avenue. This will be the first ever diverging diamond interchange to be constructed in Ontario.
Although the project began in early 2020, locals can expect the construction to be in the works until July 2023. The operation had originally been divided into five different stages, with the project’s workers now entering the end of the fourth stage of construction.
The fourth stage, which consists of constructing the west side of Glendale Avenue, constructing a new carpool lot, connecting Airport Road to the structure, demolishing the preexisting Glendale bridge and widening Glendale Avenue west from Taylor road to Niagara-on-the-Green Boulevard, is set to be finished this month. The project will finalize in July with its fifth stage, where the team must rehabilitate the existing QEW pavement and construct a roundabout at Glendale Avenue and York Road. A project-specific web page, which provides details and updates on the project, can be found here.
The interchange is located between Taylor Road and York Road, near the Niagara Outlet Collection. Due to the interchange’s proximity to the mall, as well as Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara College’s nearby campus, the interchange is a popular spot for those entering and exiting the highway.
Despite many relying on the current interchange to get to and from home, work, school, or anything in between, the construction for the project has caused many closures, notably in the past few weeks. The project saw a three-day closure beginning on Friday, Sept. 23 which lasted until Sept. 25. Additionally, a full closure of the QEW, beginning at the Mountain Road exit, was enacted on Monday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in order to demolish the old Glendale bridge structure. The QEW then reopened at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Although the recent construction marks one of the final steps in the project, there will remain some long-term construction impacts which locals should be aware of. For starters, Glendale Avenue will shift by having one southbound lane open from York Road to the north crossover, with two southbound lanes being open to Taylor Road and two northbound lanes on Glendale Avenue from Taylor Road to York Road. Additionally, construction will cause a 60-day closure at the QEW outbound ramp, which for the time being will be replaced with a detour route available via Mountain Road and Taylor Road.
Public education sessions are currently underway to provide more information on the construction of the interchange, as well as to answer inquiries on how to properly use the interchange. Information on these sessions, as well as further updates on the construction, can be found here.