Lewiston–Queenston Bridge

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The Lewiston–Queenston Bridge, also known as the Queenston–Lewiston Bridge, is an arch bridge that crosses the Niagara River gorge just south of the Niagara Escarpment. The bridge was officially opened on November 1, 1962. It is an international bridge between the United States and Canada. It connects Interstate 190 in the town of Lewiston, New York to Highway 405 in the community of Queenston, Ontario. The Lewiston–Queenston Bridge is a twin of the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls and designed by Richard (Su Min) Lee.

Lewiston–Queenston Bridge
Lewiston-Queenston Bridge from Niagara Gorge.jpg
The bridge as seen from Niagara Gorge.
Coordinates43°9′11″N 79°2′40.03″W / 43.15306°N 79.0444528°W / 43.15306; -79.0444528Coordinates: 43°9′11″N 79°2′40.03″W / 43.15306°N 79.0444528°W / 43.15306; -79.0444528
Carries5 reversible lanes of Highway 405 and I-190
CrossesNiagara River
LocaleQueenston, Ontario and Lewiston, New York
Maintained byNiagara Falls Bridge Commission
Total length1,594 feet (486 m)
Width24 feet (7 m)
Longest span1,000 feet (305 m)[1]
Clearance below370 feet (113 m)[1]
Construction cost$16 million [2]
OpenedNovember 1, 1962; 59 years ago (1962-11-01)
Daily traffic10,406 AADT
Toll$4.00 USD/$5.50 CAD (westbound only) No discounts available[3]
Lewiston–Queenston Border Crossing
Queenston Border Station.jpg
Canada Border Inspection Station at the Lewiston–Queenston Bridge
CountryUnited States; Canada
US Phone(716) 282-1500
Canadian Phone(905) 262-4010
HoursOpen 24 hours

Customs plazas are located on both ends of the bridge, with tolls only being charged on entering Canada (US$3.75 or CAD$5.00 per automobile as of May 28, 2019). The bridge accepts E-ZPass electronic toll collection and houses the second Canadian E-ZPass collection facility, after the nearby Peace Bridge. Also, two duty-free stores are located between the two plazas.

The bridge permits no pedestrians, but licensed taxi service is permitted.[4] The Lewiston–Queenston Bridge lacks expedited border clearance facilities for NEXUS and FAST card holders traveling from the United States into Canada, but does have a NEXUS lane for travel into the United States.

Gantries have lights indicating the direction of traffic as the lanes are reversible. Speed limit is posted in kilometres and miles per hour (15 mph or 24 km/h limit) along the bridge. Canadian and United States flags fly at the midpoint on the south side of the bridge.

Toll plazaEdit

There are toll plazas for customs clearance on either side of the bridge. The toll plaza for payment for use of the bridge is on the Canadian side only.

  • Canada bound:
    • 10 customs booths for cars/RVs
    • 5 customs booths for trucks
    • Dedicated Bus Processing Lane
    • parking area for trucks for inspections
    • helipad
    • 6 toll booths
  • US bound:
    • 6 customs booths for cars/buses/RVs
    • 3 customs booths for trucks
    • parking area for trucks for inspections

High mast lighting is used on the Canadian side with regular light standards used for bridge and US toll plaza.

Previous suspension bridgesEdit

The Queenston-Lewiston suspension bridge, 1915.

The first Queenston-Lewiston Bridge was built in 1851 by engineer Edward Serrell and wrecked by wind in 1864 (or 1854[5]). Some of the cables were still in place as late as 1895.[6] The road deck span was about 841–849 ft (256–259 m). The suspension bridge design was unusual because the cables were attached to the cliff with only small towers. This made the road deck span shorter than the cable span of 1,040 feet (317 m).

A second bridge called the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, a suspension bridge was later constructed. Located seven-tenths mile (1.1 km) north, the suspension bridge was originally built near the location of the present-day Rainbow Bridge, and was moved to Queenston in 1898 by R.S. Buck and engineer L.L. Buck, after the completion of the Rainbow Bridge's predecessor, the Upper Steel Arch Bridge. The suspension bridge was dismantled in 1963 after the current bridge was completed and opened.

A former suspension cable support in Lewiston for the old suspension bridge in July 2016

Reminders of the earlier bridge are still visible in the area. First is two columns that lie within the Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park. Second is the original plaque, now located midspan alongside the road, right at the border between the two countries. The plaque is flanked by a US and a Canadian flag.

The supports are part of Owen Morrell's Omega, a steel sculpture and observation platform added in 1981.[7] Two columns remain on the Canadian side at the foot of York Street in a wooded area now known as York Park.

Plane crashEdit

On December 1, 1961, while the bridge was under construction, an F-100 fighter (variously reported as belonging to the United States Air Force[8] or Air National Guard[9]) caught fire just after taking off from a base near Niagara Falls, New York. To protect people in the city, the pilot steered it into the Niagara River gorge before safely ejecting; but this aimed it near the construction site.[8][9] It passed not far over the heads of workers near the site, missed a construction crane by about 100 feet (30 m), and crashed into the gorge side about 600 feet beyond the bridge before falling into the river.[8]

Border crossingsEdit

The crossing is the fourth-busiest on the Canada–United States border, with delays of up to two hours. It is on the most direct route connecting the US Interstate system to Toronto and Detroit.[10] Canada replaced its border inspection facilities in 2011. The United States continues to use its original 1962 border inspection facilities; however in 2016 it announced plans to spend $50 million to upgrade them.[11] Both facilities are open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. All commercial vehicles crossing between the US and Canada in the Niagara Falls area must use this crossing.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Lewiston-Queenston Bridge". HighestBridges.com. 10 December 2009. Archived from the original on 21 May 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Bridges Over Niagara Falls". Niagarafrontier.com. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  3. ^ Niagara Falls Bridge Commission: Toll Cost & Vehicle Definitions Archived March 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Which Bridge Do I Take?". Niagara Bridge Commission. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "Bridges over Niagara Falls". Thunder Alley. May 2, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "1851 Lewiston-Queenston". Bridgemeister. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  7. ^ "Work: Omega". Owen Morrel Studios. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  8. ^ a b c "Pilot Guides Blazing Jet Into Gorge". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 1961-12-02. p. 1.
  9. ^ a b "Jet Ablaze: Pilot Stays to Save City". Toronto Daily Star. 1961-12-02. p. 52.
  10. ^ "Chapter 4: The Watery Boundary". United Divide: A Linear Portrait of the USA/Canada Border. The Center for Land Use Interpretation. Winter 2015.
  11. ^ Anderson, Dale; McCarthy, Robert (February 19, 2016). "U.S. side of Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to get $50 million upgrade". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 22 February 2016.

External linksEdit