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

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del