With winter fading into our memories and spring emerging, work on the new Glendale Avenue and QEW diverging diamond interchange is ramping up.
Overnight on Monday and Tuesday this week, contractors were busy installing precast girders for the Glendal overpass bridge decks at the new interchange.
That required lane closures on the QEW as most of the work was done throughout the night.
This latest work will start to give area residents the first real visualization of what the new interchange will look like.
Much of 2021 was devoted to site preparation work, including creating the approaches to the QEW overpass, designing the on and off ramps, and laying the roadbed for the new Glendale Avenue and Airport Road connection.
During the winter, work was completed on the overpass concrete superstructure on the QEW as well as the Airport Road connection and loop ramp.
The $53.8 million project will replace the current Glendale Avenue overpass over the QEW with a diverging diamond interchange. This will be the first interchange of this kind in Ontario and only the third in Canada.
An online video at youtu.be/vwvscTv4OE4 depicts how a similar interchange in Calgary works.
The project aims to reduce vehicle conflict points along by allowing unrestricted turning movements.
The interchange will allow traffic to enter or exit the QEW without having to turn through oncoming traffic lanes, lowering the number of potential vehicle conflict points thus making it safer for vehicles and occupants.
A shared four-metre-wide active transportation, pedestrian and cyclists’ path will also run through the middle of the bridge structure with dedicated signal crossings at each end.
Other features of this project include a new commuter carpool lot at the northwest quadrant of the interchange that could support a future GO bus stop, a single-lane roundabout at Glendale and York roads, and a new loop road connection from Glendale Avenue back under the new overpass to Airport Road, providing a more direct route to the historic Old Town tourist area.
The province has committed to fund 80 per cent of the cost of the project.
In an email response to a question regarding Niagara Region’s share of the funding, Stephanie Huppunen, manager, capital projects transportation engineering, said, “The cost sharing of the construction of this project is approximately $11.3 million, including the town’s portion of the contribution of construction.”
In an earlier email, Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake treasurer Kyle Freeborn stated, “We have $235,000 proposed in the 2023 budget for Glendale streetscaping. Upon completion of the project, actual costs will be debentured.”
Construction for the overall project is expected to be completed in summer 2023, Transport Ministry spokesperson Nancy Rao said in an email.
“Brennan Paving and Construction is now on-site and there will be several construction activities as work continues in order to complete and open the diverging diamond interchange for fall 2022,” she said.
Steve Hardaker has lived in Glendale for 11 years and is active in many community organizations.