British Columbia Highway 17

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Highway 17 shield

Highway 17
Patricia Bay Highway (Vancouver Island section)
South Fraser Perimeter Road (Mainland section)
Highway 17 highlighted in red, upper left insert shows Highway 17 on Vancouver Island.
Route information
Existed: 1960 – present
Vancouver Island section
Length: 31 km (19 mi)
South end: BC 1 in Victoria
North end: BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay
Lower Mainland section
Length: 44 km (27 mi)
West end: BC Ferries terminal at Tsawwassen
Major
junctions:
BC 17A in Delta
BC 99 in Delta
BC 91 in Delta (via connector)
East end: BC 1 / BC 15 in Surrey
Location
Major cities: Victoria, Saanich, Surrey
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 16 BC 17A

Highway 17 is a system of two separate highways: One on Vancouver Island, the other on the Lower Mainland, connected by a ferry link.

Route description[edit]

Vancouver Island section[edit]

The Island section of Highway 17 is known as the Patricia Bay Highway (locally abbreviated as the Pat Bay Highway) after nearby Patricia Bay, and is the main artery through the Saanich Peninsula, mostly travelling along its eastern coast. The highway is four lanes all the way from Victoria to Swartz Bay. The total length of the highway on the Island is 31 kilometres (19 mi). Highway 17 has had its present course through the area since 1960, when the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal was completed.

In the south, Highway 17 begins at the intersection of Belleville and Oswego streets one block to the west of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

From Douglas and Blanshard, the highway travels north as Blanshard Street (a six lane divided city street) for 3 km (1.9 mi) through the city of Victoria before leaving the city at Tolmie Avenue and for another 2 km (1.24 mi) north through the city of Saanich to the Uptown Shopping Centre; Highway 17 then becomes the Pat Bay Highway and turns into a 6 km (3.7 mi)-long freeway, with three interchanges. After the third interchange at Royal Oak Drive, Highway 17 turns into a 14 km (8.7 mi) mix of divided four-lane arterial and expressway including an interchange at McTavish Road, until it reaches the town of Sidney. After exiting Sidney 3 km (1.9 mi) later, the Pat Bay once again becomes a freeway, with two more interchanges along its length, toward its northern terminus at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal another 3 km (1.9 mi) north.

Ferry route[edit]

At Swartz Bay, Highway 17 leaves Vancouver Island, and starts on a 44 km (24 nmi)-long ferry route through the Southern Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia. The ferry route between Swartz Bay and the Mainland is the oldest and most heavily used route in the B.C. Ferries system. After winding through the Gulf Islands, the route enters a small passage between Galiano and Mayne Islands, known as Active Pass. Active Pass is the midway point on the Highway 17 ferry route, but it is also the most hazardous part, as it has strong tidal currents, and has historically been the site of two maritime collisions involving BC Ferries vessels, as well as one incident of a ferry running aground. Consequently, ferries going through Active Pass have to sound their whistles upon entering and leaving the passage, and must adhere to a lower speed limit while transiting through it.

After Active Pass, the Highway 17 ferry heads due northeast across the Strait of Georgia. Halfway across the Strait, the route begins transiting United States waters for just under 9 km (5 nmi). It then crosses the 49th parallel back into Canadian waters just before landing at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

Mainland section[edit]

Highway 17 looking South near Port Mann (Surrey) British Columbia. New and old Port Mann Bridge in background.

On the Mainland, Highway 17 is known as the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR), a component of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation's Gateway Program. It is a four-lane expressway with a speed limit of 80 km/h over most of its length, connecting the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Highway 99 in Delta to Highway 1 at 176th Street in Surrey, and providing access to all five of the major Fraser River crossings in Metro Vancouver.[1] A 10 km-long portion from 136 Street in Surrey to a junction with Highway 15 and Highway 1 was the first portion of the SFPR to be completed, opening on December 1, 2012. The remaining western segment of the road was completed on December 21, 2013.[2] The former Mainland portion of Highway 17 north of the 28th Avenue overpass has been renamed to Highway 17A through Ladner.[3] The mainland section is notable for its extensive use of noise walls, split level construction through Delta and use in some urban sections of so-called Quiet Pavement to reduce traffic noise.[4] The total cost of building the SFPR was $1.26 billion.[5]

Opposition to the SFPR[edit]

The South Fraser Perimeter Road project has been opposed by a number of groups, citing a variety of concerns.

The SFPR alignment does not go through the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area.[6] However, the Burns Bog Conservation Society has stated they are concerned that it would affect surrounding hydrology and have an adverse effect on the Conservancy Area[7]

The SFPR Project has said it will be working with the Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel to develop systems that will improve the existing drainage / hydrology of the bog.

The Burns Bog Conservation Society has expressed concerns that the South Fraser Perimeter Road will endanger Burns Bog.[8] In response to the mitigation measures proposed the Environmental Stewardship Branch of Environment Canada wrote that "...that the changes are not sufficient to alleviate its concerns related to the impacts of the Project on Pacific Water Shrew (PWS), hydrology, aerial deposition, and ecological integrity of Burns Bog.".[9] On November 24, 2010 the Burns Bog Conservation Society launched a lawsuit intend to force the re-routing or cancellation of the SFPR project.[10] Burns Bog has been listed as threatened by the International Mire Conservation Group because of the impacts of the SFPR.[11]

The Wilderness Committee and other groups have criticized the SFPR, and the Gateway Program in general, for increasing greenhouse gas emissions.[12] In the spring of 2011, a protest camp organized by StopThePave.org and the Council of Canadians occupied a SFPR construction site for almost two weeks.[13]

Benefits[edit]

According to the Ministry of Transportation the South Fraser Perimeter Road will improve the movement of goods and people across the region while also alleviating truck traffic on municipal roads. West/east travel times across the region will also be significantly reduced.[14]

Route description[edit]

The South Fraser Perimeter Road is 44 km (27 mi) long. Beginning at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, it heads northeast on a 1.8 km (1.1 mi) long causeway to land on the Tsawwassen Peninsula, then continues northeast for 5 km (3 mi) to its junction with Highway 17A. It then follows the CN Railway's Deltaport chord and 72nd Street northeast for 6.2 km (3.9 mi) to an interchange with Highway 99. The road then skirts the west side of Burns Bog and the south side of the Tilbury and Sunbury industrial areas for 9.7 km (6.0 mi) before it reaches the Fraser River at a junction connecting to Highway 91. It then proceeds east along the left bank of the Fraser River through North Delta and West Surrey, passing under the Alex Fraser, Pattullo and Port Mann Bridges, before turning southeast at Surrey Bend Park to terminate at its junction with Highways 1 and 15, 21 km (13 mi) from the access to Highway 91.

History[edit]

Future[edit]

On Vancouver Island, there have been numerous studies to upgrade the Island portion of Highway 17 to freeway standard. This seems to be edging closer with the BC Government's issuing of the Highway 17 Corridor Planning Strategy. This study envisions interchanges at Haliburton, Sayward, Keating Cross Road and/or Island View, Mt Newton Cross Road, McTavish Road (Complete April 9, 2011) and Beacon Avenue in Sidney.

On April 9, 2011 a new interchange at McTavish Road was opened with two multi-lane roundabouts at the end of the off-ramps. This new interchange will serve Victoria International Airport.[15]

In the Lower Mainland, the intersection at 104th Avenue in Surrey will eventually also be co-located with the Golden Ears Way Connector (to be constructed) which will provide direct access to Golden Ears Way and the Golden Ears Bridge from Highway 17.

Exit list[edit]

Leaving the Victoria city boundary, all of Highway 17 is a four-lane highway—large stretches of it being a freeway. Many of its exits are in fact numbered, including some of the at-grade traffic light intersections, which is also the case for all of the signalized intersections on the Nanaimo Parkway and the Inland Island Highway. Exit numbers are determined using distances from the intersection of Douglas Street and Superior/Southgate Street in Victoria.

All of the Mainland section is considered an expressway.

Regional district Location km[16] Mile Exit Destinations Notes
Continues south as the arterial Blanshard Street into Downtown Victoria
Capital District of Saanich 2.2 1.4 7 McKenzie Avenue Interchange
4.1 2.5 8 Vanalman Avenue Southbound exit and entrance
4.5 2.8 9 Quadra Street east, West Saanich Road Interchange; No southbound access to westbound West Saanich Road
5.7 3.5 11 Royal Oak Drive to Brentwood Bay Interchange
7.8 4.8 (13) Haliburton Road At-grade
8.3 5.2 Claremont Avenue east At-grade
8.7 5.4 Piedmont Drive Northbound exit and entrance
9.7 6.0 (14) Cordova Bay Road east At-grade
10.5 6.5 15 Sayward Road At-grade
10.9 6.8 Wells Road east Northbound exit and entrance
11.2 7.0 (16) Old East Saanich Road east At-grade
District of Central Saanich 12.3 7.6 (17) Tanner Road At-grade
12.6 7.8 Gliddon Road west Northbound exit and entrance
12.7 7.9 Rey Road west Southbound exit and entrance
13.2 8.2 Martindale Road east Northbound exit and entrance
13.5 8.4 18 Keating Cross Road west At-grade, northbound exit and southbound entrance only
13.7 8.5 East Saanich Road west At-grade, northbound exit only
13.8 8.6 Danica Place east Northbound exit and entrance
14.4 8.9 19 Island View Road At-grade
15.6 9.7 (20) Jus Kun Road Northbound exit only
16.9 10.5 21 Mt. Newton Cross Road At-grade
District of North Saanich 19.4 12.1 (24) Amity Drive Partial access (right-in/right-out)
20.9 13.0 26 McTavish Road Interchange; Access to Victoria Airport
Town of Sidney 22.5 14.0 (27) Weiler Avenue West Southbound exit only
23.4 14.5 28 Beacon Avenue At-grade
25.1 15.6 (30) McDonald Park Road At-grade
District of North Saanich 26.9 16.7 31 McDonald Park Road, Wain Road to Brentwood Bay Interchange
28.1 17.5 33 Lands End Road Interchange; Northbound exit, southbound entrance only
28.4 17.6 Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal
Strait of Georgia BC Ferries from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen
Metro Vancouver Municipality of Delta 2.7 1.7 (3) Tsawwassen Drive At-grade
3.5 2.2 48 Street At-grade
4.3 2.7 (4) 52 Street At-grade
5.3 3.3 (5) 56 Street At-grade
6.9 4.3 7 BC 17A north – Ladner Eastbound-only
8.0 5.0 8 Deltaport Way Westbound-only
13.1 8.1 13 BC 99 – Vancouver, White Rock, Seattle Interchange - No direct access from Highway 17 westbound to Highway 99 southbound; traffic from Highway 17 westbound to US border uses Highway 91
19.3 12.0 Tilbury Connector At-grade
22.8 14.2 To BC 91 (Highway 91 Connector) At-grade
City of Surrey 27.2 16.9 Elevator Road Partial access (right-in/right-out)
29.2 18.1 103A Avenue Partial access (right-in/right-out)
29.7 18.5 31/32 Tannery Road Interchange
30.4 18.9 Old Yale Road At-grade
31.7 19.7 33 124th Street Partial access (right-in/right-out)
33.0 20.5 Bridgeview Drive At-grade
42.9 26.7 104th Avenue, Golden Ears Way Connector to Pitt Meadows & Maple Ridge (via Golden Ears Bridge) At-grade
44.1 27.4 BC 1 – Vancouver, Hope Interchange
Continues as Highway 15 south through Surrey
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
Exits in parentheses are not officially numbered.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gatewayprogram.bc.ca". Gatewayprogram.bc.ca. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road, B.C.'s newest highway opens". Province of British Columbia. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sinoski, Kelly (November 30, 2012). "First 10 kilometres of new Highway 17 opens Dec. 1". Vancouversun.com. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ Sinoski, Kelly (November 30, 2012). "First 10 kilometres of new Highway 17 opens Dec. 1". Vancouversun.com. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road completed, officially opens today". Canada Newswire. December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "TH.gov.bc.ca" (PDF). Retrieved November 29, 2012. [dead link]
  7. ^ Burnsbog.org[dead link], Burns Bog Conservation Society » Resources » Sustainable Development Strategy
  8. ^ "Submission to Environmental Assessment Office". Burns Bog Conservation Society. [dead link]
  9. ^ Burnsbog.org[dead link]
  10. ^ Burns Bog Conservation Society. "LAWSUIT LAUNCHED OVER ROAD CONSTRUCTION ON BURNS BOG". Retrieved September 1, 2011. [dead link]
  11. ^ International Mire Conservation Group. "Threatened Peatlands". Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Wilderness Committee. "Gateway to Global Warming". Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  13. ^ Dawn, Paley (May 5, 2011). "Camp Closed, But Resistance Continues". Vancouver Media Co-op. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  14. ^ "TH.gov.bc.ca". TH.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure,Government of Canada (April 7, 2009). "Canada-Bc Partnership To Build Interchange". .news.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  16. ^ "B.C. Landmark Kilometre Inventory". Th.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved December 29, 2013.