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Highway 406 (Ontario): Wikis


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Provincial Highway 406
Divided freeway
Maintained by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Length: 25 km (16 mi)[1]
Formed: 1965[citation needed]
Southern terminus: East Main Street – Welland
Major junctions:  Highway 58 – Thorold
Northern terminus:  Queen Elizabeth Way – St. Catharines
Map of Highway 406
Highway system
Ontario 400-Series Freeways
 Highway 405     406    Highway 407

Provincial Highway 406, also known as Highway 406, is a 400-series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario connecting Welland with St. Catharines. It is one of two 400-series highways with at-grade crossings (the other being Highway 420)

Highway 406 is the primary north-south route though the central portion of the Niagara Peninsula, connecting Welland, Thorold and downtown St. Catharines to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). The section through St. Catharines wraps through the Twelve Mile Creek valley in a winding route, and is therefore posted at 80 km/h (50 mph) rather than 100 km/h (60 mph), which is typical of a road of this type. The northbound transition to this lower speed limit has been the scene of many serious accidents, as motorists are unable to judge the sharp turn that occurs just after the reduction in speed limit.[citation needed]

Highway 406 in downtown St. Catharines

Construction began in 1963, with the first section open in 1965. Extensions were opened in 1970, 1971, 1984, 1991, 1994 and 2007. The highway is currently 25 km (16 mi) long.

The highway rose to importance with the introduction of the Ontario Greenbelt legislation that called for more development in southern Niagara as opposed to the fruit-rich portion below the Niagara Escarpment. It is expected that the highway will be extended further south into the region, but no timetable has been set. Erie—Lincoln MPP Tim Hudak has introduced a bill in the Ontario Legislature that, if passed, will designate Highway 140 as an extension of Highway 406 into Port Colborne.[2] This bill was supported by local civic leaders, who see it as the first step to the eventual twinning of Highway 140 as a proper 400-series highway. In August 2007, "To 140" shields were posted along with 406 reassurance markers for the length of the southbound portion of the route.

Highway 406 is the only 400-series highway with non-freeway sections. A long called-for widening and conversion to a full freeway from roughly 1 km south of Beaverdams Road to Port Robinson Road was completed in 2007. Currently, South of Port Robinson Road, it is a conventional two-lane highway with at-grade intersections. However, that section from Port Robinson road to East Main Street in Welland will be converted to a full freeway as announced by the MTO in May 2009. Some work will begin in September 2009, with the bulk of the work to commence in 2011 and completion targeted for 2013.[3]


Traffic volumes (2005)

  • Highest Volume: 47,800 AADT from Glendale Avenue to Westchester Avenue
  • Lowest Volume: 12,800 AADT from East Main Street to Woodlawn Road

Lane configurations - North to South

Section Travel Lanes
Queen Elizabeth Way to Port Robinson Rd 2 Lanes in Each Direction
Port Robinson Rd to East Main St 1 Lane per Direction, Undivided


Location km Destinations Notes
Welland 0 Niagara Regional Road 27 (East Main Street) – Welland At-grade
2 Niagara Regional Road 41 (Woodlawn Road) At-grade
Thorold 4 Niagara Regional Road 37 (Merritt Road) – Holland At-grade; south end of former  Highway 58 concurrency
5 Port Robinson Road At-grade; formerly Niagara Regional Road 63
8 Niagara Regional Road 20 (Canboro Road) – Niagara Falls, Fonthill Formerly  Highway 20
North end of former Highway 58 concurrency
11 Niagara Regional Road 67 (Beaverdams Road)
15 Niagara Regional Road 71 (St. David's Road)
St. Catharines
15  Highway 58 – Thorold
17 Niagara Regional Road 89 (Glendale Avenue)
19 Niagara Regional Road 91 (Westchester Avenue)
20 Niagara Regional Road 46 (Geneva Street)
21 Niagara Regional Road 77 (4th Avenue)
25  Queen Elizabeth Way – Niagara, Toronto

Railway crossings

A train crossing the 406.

Highway 406 is unique, having the only at-grade railway crossing of any 400 series highway. A crossing with a Trillium Railway spur is just south of the Woodlawn Road intersection. This section of Highway 406, however, is not a full freeway, but rather a two-lane expressway. It will be removed when the freeway is extended southward.

Recent upgrades

Construction has started from Third Avenue to the Queen Elizabeth Way including 3 new traffic cameras and upgrades to the ramps from the Highway 406 to the QEW

A new ramp from the Queen Elizabeth Way to Third Avenue will also be constructed with the future building of the Niagara Health Services hospital.[citation needed]

Construction of an overpass at Merritt Road is now underway.

Future plans

An extension south of East Main Street to reach the proposed Mid-Peninsula Highway is currently under review.[citation needed] This section would initially be built as a two-lane freeway, and later upgraded to a full divided freeway as traffic counts warrant. When the extension southward is finalized, kilometre posts will be updated to reflect the eventual length of the highway.

External links


  1. ^ Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, 2004 Annual Average Daily Traffic
  2. ^ Hudak Introduces Legislation To Extend Highway 406 To Port Colborne; Bill to designate Highway 140 as part of Highway 406
  3. ^ [1] Bradley Announces 406 Widening


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