Garden City Skyway expansion taking shape

The Ontario Government hopes that the construction phase of the twinning project will commence in 2026. Photo Credit: Mayor Mat Siscoe/Facebook 

Earlier this month, the Ontario government officially requested proposals to proceed with the Garden City Skyway expansion on the Queen Elizabeth Highway. The news has been heralded as a major step forward in the goal of reducing traffic congestion, shortening commute times and growing the economy in the Golden Horseshoe region of the province.

“Ontario’s highway infrastructure is critical to the growth and economic prosperity of our province,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure for the Province of Ontario. “As part of our plan to build Ontario, our government is continuing to invest in essential infrastructure like the Garden City Skyway to make it easier for people to travel, while supporting businesses that rely on Ontario’s highways and bridges to deliver goods.” 

Sam Oosterhoff currently serves as the Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Niagara West. He touted the expansion as well. 

“There are a couple of important reasons this project is great news for Niagara,” said Oosterhoff. “First, this is proactive infrastructure, which means instead of falling behind, we are getting ahead of the curve of growth for our region. It is not possible to widen the QEW in the future without first twinning the Garden City Skyway, helping alleviate the bottleneck of traffic at the crossing over the Welland Canal. Our government is thinking ahead for future growth, not just current traffic levels.” 

“Second, it has been explained to me by transportation engineers that the kind of concrete span that was used to construct the original bridge cannot be rehabilitated by working on one or two lanes at a time – the entire width of the bridge must be rehabilitated simultaneously, meaning that without a second span, the entire bridge would need to be shut down,” Oosterhoff continued. “Moreover local skilled workers will be recruited for this massive project, providing key economic development for our region.”

The expansion will include a new 2.2 kilometer long bridge that will reach across the Welland Canal, in addition to a complete replacement of the deck on the current bridge. The finished renovation will result in both bridges having four lanes. The revamped bridge will serve travelers heading to Niagara while the new bridge will carry vehicles heading toward Toronto. 

St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe also sees this request as a major step in the right direction.

“The Request for Proposals (RFP) is an important step on the path to expanding the Garden City Skyway,” Siscoe explained. “With the projected increases in population and jobs throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe in the coming years, this expansion will allow people and goods to travel more freely through Niagara. The City of St. Catharines is looking forward to the completion of this project and the economic growth that will accompany it.” 

The Ontario Government hopes that the construction phase of the twinning project will commence in 2026. The biggest variable factor at this juncture appears to be the approval process itself, as well as the results of the June 2026 Ontario election. 

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