St. Paul Street West (Regional Road 81) - CN Rail Bridge Replacement
All Niagara Region projects

About the project

Niagara Region completed a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for the replacement of the St. Paul Street West CN Rail Bridge in St. Catharines.

Originally constructed in 1922, the St. Paul Street West CN Rail Bridge has undergone extensive inspection and evaluation that has identified the structure for immediate replacement. The replacement will address the aging infrastructure and improve the vertical alignment of the roadway and the retaining walls on all bridge approaches.

Niagara Region is leading the project because of its close relation to the St. Catharines GO Train Station redevelopment. Improvements to access the proposed GO Transit station via Great Western Street will be addressed.

Project update

Niagara Region has been observing the bridge's condition since load restrictions and lane closures were put in place in December 2022 due to the bridge's condition at that time.

Niagara Region and Canadian National Railway are closing the bridge due to the continuing deterioration of the structure. It would pose a significant risk to the health and safety of the public if it were to stay open.

The bridge is closing to all vehicles before the winter weather because it can no longer safely handle the traffic and snow load. It also cannot support winter maintenance vehicles.

Bridge replacement

The road closure for vehicles will start on Nov. 20, 2023. Pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge until the removal process starts in March 2024. The bridge is expected to be closed until the end of 2026.

Before we tender these projects, we will proceed with a separate tender for the removal of the bridge. However, Bell Canada must first move their infrastructure from the bridge before it is taken down.

GO station precinct and Ridley area projects

The replacement of the bridge is part of a larger project for the area and includes Niagara Region and City of St. Catharines projects:

  • St. Paul Street West CNR Bridge replacement (Niagara Region)
  • St. Catharines GO Station site works (Niagara Region)
  • Station access road from Ridley Road to the St. Catharines GO Station (Niagara Region and City of St. Catharines)
  • Ridley Road reconstruction (City of St. Catharines)
  • Louth Street (Regional Road 72) and Ridley Road intersection improvement (Niagara Region)

These projects will be grouped together for faster and more efficient construction.

Project timeline

feb. 7, 2019 - Completed
Notice of commencement

april 3, 2019 - completed
Public Information Centre #1

june 12, 2019 - completed
Public Information Centre #2

Sept. 12, 2019 - Completed
Notice of study completion

Sept. 12 to Oct. 11, 2019 - completed
Project file report filed for 30-day review and comment

november 2019 - completed
Start detailed design

Summer 2020 - completed
Relocate utilities

2021 - completed
Acquire property

Nov. 8, 2023 - Completed
Public information open house

Nov. 20, 2023 - Completed
Bridge is closed to vehicles, but remains open to pedestrians and cyclists

November 2023 to February 2024
Bell Canada relocates utilities

Late February 2024
Start removing bridge structure

March 2024
Issue construction tender for bridge replacement, site works and Ridley Road


Dave Lampman
Senior Project Manager, Transportation Engineering
905-980-6000 ext. 3644
Email Dave Lampman

Traffic Information

Westbound detour:

  • St. Paul Street West > Pelham Road > Louth Street (Regional Road 72)

Eastbound detour:

  • St. Paul Street West > Louth Street > Pelham Road (Regional Road 69)

Measures to reduce traffic impacts in the neighbourhoods:

  • Temporary speed humps on Henrietta Street and Ridley Road
  • Partial road closures that allow local traffic only

Image Gallery

Bridge with cars
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