Skip to main content

Queen Elizabeth Way; Hamilton to King's Highway 420

This past April I drove a portion of Queen Elizabeth Wayfrom Hamilton east to King's Highway 420 in Niagara Falls.


Queen Elizabeth Way ("QEW") is a 139.1 Kilometer/86.4 Mile 400 series freeway in the Province of Ontario.  QEW carries a hidden designation of King's Highway 451, the 400 series Provincial routes denote limited access roadways in Ontario akin to the American Interstate System.  QEW begins in Toronto at the junction of the Gardiner Expressway/KH 427 (note; the Gardiner Expressway was part of QEW) and is aligned in a southeasterly direction ending at Interstate 190 in Buffalo, New York.

Work on what would become QEW began in 1931 as a replacement of Lakeshore Road between Toronto and Hamilton.  At the time construction began this segment of roadway was known as the Queen Street Extension and more so ended up being called the Middle Road.  The original design of the Middle Road was to be a conventional un-divided four lanes.  Before the new roadway could be completed the design plans were altered in 1934 to more closely resemble the German Autobahns which had a grade separation between directions of travel.  The roadway was opened between Toronto and Burlington by 1937 and generally is considered to be the first truly limited access facility in North America.

The segment of QEW east of Hamilton began construction as the New Niagara Falls Highways in 1937.  By 1939 the New Niagara Falls Highway had opened between Stoney Creek (part of eastern Hamilton nowadays) and Jordan.  By June of 1939 during a visit from the British Royal Family the entire combined roadway of the Middle Road and New Niagara Falls Highway was designated as Queen Elizabeth Way.  When QEW fully opened it ended in Niagara Falls on what is now KH 420.  As QEW opened there was large sections of roadway that actually were paved in gravel, the entire route was not fully paved until 1956.   QEW as originally built was not a true freeway and had access roads built directly to it along with at-grade intersections.  Most of the direct access roads and at-grade intersections were mostly removed during the 1950s.

My approach to QEW eastbound was from the terminus of Red Hill Valley Parkway in Hamilton.




Niagara Falls is signed as 56KM away on QEW east of Red Hill Valley Parkway.


Access to Hamilton Road 455 on Fruitland Road is signed from QEW eastbound Exit 83.



QEW eastbound has a trunk inspection station just before Exit 78 for Hamilton Road 450 on Fifty Road.




QEW east enters the Municipality of Niagara and Grimsby.




At Exit 74 QEW eastbound has signed access to Municipal Road 10 on Casablanca Road in Grimsby.


At Exit 71 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 12 in Grimbsy.


At Exit 68 QEW eastbound in Grimsby accesses Municipal Road 14.


East of Grimsby QEW enters the Town of Lincoln.


At Exit 64 QEW eastbound in Lincoln accesses Municipal Road 18.


At Exit 57 QEW eastbound in Lincoln accesses Municipal Road 24.


East of Municipal Road 24 QEW crosses over Jordan Harbor within view of the south shore of Lake Ontario.



At Exit 55 QEW eastbound in Lincoln accesses Municipal Road 26.


QEW eastbound enters St. Catharines traffic is advised that the United States can be accessed via; KH 405, KH 420 and QEW.




At Exit 51 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 34 in St. Catharines.


At Exit 49 QEW eastbound has access to KH 406 towards downtown St. Catharines.


QEW eastbound crosses over Twelve Mile Creek and at Exit 47 QEW eastbound in St. Catharines accesses Municipal Road 42.


At Exit 44 QEW eastbound in St. Catharines accesses Municipal Roads 48 and 77.


QEW eastbound crosses the 1963 Garden City Skyway and the Welland Canal into Niagara-on-the-Lake.













Truck traffic is advised that the route over KH 420 to the United States is inaccessible to large vehicles.




At Exits 38 A/B QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 89 and KH 405 at Exit 37.




QEW eastbound enters Niagara Falls.



Traffic on QEW eastbound is directed to take KH 420 to downtown Niagara Falls.


At Exit 34 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 101.


Niagara Falls (the actual falls) is directed to take KH 420.





At Exit 32 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 57.


QEW eastbound reaches KH 420 at Exit 30A, this is where I split eastward towards the falls.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…