Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Ontario’s first ‘Diverging Diamond’ interchange opened on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and Glendale Avenue in St. Catharines in September.
Construction started in April 2021 and, according to the project website, the configuration allows “for performance improvement by reducing vehicle conflict points along with allowing unrestricted turning movements.”
“It accomplishes this by reconfiguring the traffic lanes to allow for direct access to all four directional highway ramps (two off-ramps, two on-ramps),” the website says.
The construction project also includes installation of a new roundabout at Glendale Avenue and York Road, which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2023.
Crews are also building a new connection from Glendale Avenue to Airport Road, making it easier for traffic exiting the QEW to get to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
“The new Airport Road connection from Glendale Avenue allows for a direct route for traffic to the historic Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake tourist area by removing the need to navigate left and right turns through two intersections within proximity to one another and by diverting some traffic from the Glendale Avenue/York Road intersection,” the project’s website states.
All construction in the area is scheduled to finish by next summer.
The Ministry of Transportation is working in partnership with Niagara Region on the $54 million design-build project for the construction of the following elements:
- Reconstruct the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) / Glendale Avenue interchange to a diverging diamond Interchange
- Reconstruct the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection to a single-lane roundabout with channelization
- Construct a new Airport Road loop ramp and connection road from Glendale Avenue to York Road / Airport Road intersection
- Construct a new commuter carpool lot at the northwest quadrant of the interchange
- Rehabilitate the pavement on the QEW eastbound and westbound lanes between the east end of the Garden City Skyway bridge and QEW / Hwy. 405 split (~3.0 km)
- Extend the right turning lane of Glendale Avenue between Taylor Road and Niagara-on-the-Green Boulevard
Signalized intersections will allow free flow, high-volume traffic by having lanes cross each other at either end of the interchange, reducing issues with vehicles accessing on-ramps and those coming off the highway.
A multiuse path down the centre of the interchange designed for cyclists and pedestrians will be separated and protected from the traffic by concrete barriers.