Skip to main content

King's Highway 420, the Rainbow Bridge and Niagara Falls

The final leg in my trip through Ontario this past April was on King's Highway 420 to Niagara Falls.



KH 420 is a short 3.3 Kilometer/2.1 Mile Freeway located completely in Niagara Falls.  KH 420 has a western terminus at Queen Elizabeth Way and an eastern terminus at Regional Road 102/Falls Avenue.  The route of KH 420 continues as a Regional Road of the same number to the Rainbow Bridge and the American Border on Falls Avenue..  Presently KH 420 is the shortest 400 series freeway in Ontario.

The route of KH 420 was part of the original 1941 alignment of Queen Elizabeth Way which was routed through Niagara Falls.  The Rainbow Bridge over the Niagara River was a replacement span which began construction in May of 1940 and ended eighteen months later.  The Rainbow Bridge was a replacement for earlier the Honeymoon Bridge which fell into the Niagara River in 1938.  In 1972 KH 420 was designated over what was Queen Elizabeth Way after freeway upgrades were made.  The 1955 Ontario Highway map below shows Queen Elizabeth Way in it's original configuration.

1955 Ontario Highway Map 

My approach to KH 420 was from Queen Elizabeth Way eastbound.



KH 420 eastbound is signed at 80KMPH.


KH 420 continues to Regional Road 102 at Stanley Avenue.  The highway continues eastbound towards the Rainbow Bridge as Regional Road 420 on Falls Avenue.





Rainbow Bridge traffic to the United States is directed to use the left lane of Falls Avenue.  Traffic to Niagara Falls is directed to stay in the right lane.



I took the alternate route to Niagara Falls via Victoria Avenue and Bender Street.





From the merge point of Bender Street and Falls Avenue the border crossing on the western flank of the Rainbow Bridge can be seen.



Signage along Falls Avenue directs traffic towards either the Rainbow Bridge or Niagara Falls.


Falls Avenue terminus at Niagara Parkway headed southbound on the western flank of Niagara Falls.



I parked in Queen Victoria Park above Horseshoe Falls.  Queen Victoria Park was commissioned in 1885 and opened in 1888.


Horseshoe Falls is the largest of three falls at Niagara Falls.  Horseshoe Falls is 165 feet high but has a massive width of 2,700 feet.


The visitor center in Queen Victoria Park is located in the Table Rock House.  The north building of the Table Rock Center opened in 1926 followed by the south building opening in 1974.



The "Scenic Tunnels" (known now as the Journey Behind the Falls) is located in the Table Rock Center.




The Scenic Tunnels include several historical information placards.  The one below details the 1938 collapse of the Honeymoon Bridge.  The Honeymoon Bridge was constructed in 1897 and opened in 1898.  The Honeymoon Bridge was a replacement for the Niagara Clifton Bridge which had been destroyed in 1889.  The Honeymoon Bridge was officially known as the Upper Steel Arch Bridge and was built according to the namesake design.  The Honeymoon Bridge was built with a fatal flaw in that ice tended to accumulate around it's abutments and had to be constantly maintained in winter months.  In January of 1938 when a wind storm sent about 100 feet of ice into the abutments which collapsed the Honeymoon Bridge into the Niagara River as a single piece.


Surprisingly going over Niagara Falls seems to be somewhat survivable.


The longest Scenic Tunnel extends 151 feet behind Horseshoe Falls.



Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls can be seen to the right of the Rainbow Bridge looking northbound below.  Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest of the three falls at Niagara Falls with a crest of only 56 feet.  American Falls is the second largest in Niagara Falls at 950 feet in width.


The Rainbow Bridge is officially known as the Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge.  The Rainbow Bridge is an arch structure that is 1,450 in length and has a maximum height of 202 feet above the Niagara River.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was