British Columbia Highway 3A

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Highway 3A shield

Highway 3A
Route information
Existed: 1964 – present
Tourist
routes:
Part of the International Selkirk Loop
Eastern section
Length: 154 km (96 mi)
East end: BC 3 in Castlegar
West end: BC 3 in Creston
Western section
Length: 85 km (53 mi)
East end: BC 3 in Keremeos
West end: BC 3 / BC 97 in Osoyoos
Location
Major cities: Castlegar, Nelson, Creston, Osoyoos
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 3 BC 3B

Highway 3A is the designation of two segments of highway in the southern part of British Columbia.

Kootenays - Castlegar-Nelson-Creston Highway[edit]

Alt text
Cyclists along British Columbia Highway 3A near Kootenay Lake.

This was the first segment of highway in British Columbia to receive the '3A' designation. It acquired this designation when the Crowsnest Highway was routed into the Kootenay Pass area in 1964. Originally, a ferry was used to route Highway 3A over the Columbia River near Castlegar, which was replaced by a bridge in 1967.

Route details[edit]

The 154 km (96 mi) long Kootenay section of Highway 3A begins at Castlegar, where it leaves Highway 3 and travels 20 km (12 mi) northeast to South Slocan, where Highway 6 merges onto Highway 3A. The two highways proceed east for 22 km (14 mi) to Nelson, where Highway 6 diverges south. 34 km (21 mi) northeast of Nelson, Highway 3A reaches Balfour, on the western shore of Kootenay Lake. A ferry takes Highway 3A across Kootenay Lake to Kootenay Bay. Highway 3A then follows the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake for 78 km (48 mi) south through Crawford Bay, Boswell, and Wynndel to Creston, where it rejoins Highway 3.

Similkameen to Okanagan - Keremeos-Kaleden Junction-Osoyoos Highway[edit]

A new section of highway through the Richter Pass from Keremeos to Osoyoos was opened in 1965. The 2-lane Crowsnest Highway was re-routed through this area in 1967, and the segment between Keremeos and Osoyoos was given the Highway 3 Southern Trans-Canada designation. This 45 km (28 mi.) long segment of Highway 3 runs south from Keremeos, past the turnoff to Nighthawk, USA, then east over the Richter to Osoyoos. It's a main part of the bike course for the Penticton Subaru Ironman Canada Triathlon each August in the Okanagan Similkameen.

Highway 3A runs from Keremeos 35 km (22 mi) north through Olalla and up the long hill to Yellow Lake, then east past Twin Lakes and through the Marron Valley to Kaleden Junction where it intersects with Highway 97, the North-South Okanagan route. Penticton is 14 km (9 mi) north of the junction; however, Highway 3A goes south at this point, past Okanagan Falls (6 km/4 mi from the junction) to Oliver and Osoyoos. The distance south from the Kaleden Junction through Okanagan Falls and Oliver to Osoyoos on Highway 97 is about 50 km (30 mi).

Extra driving time should be allowed for traffic congestion (tourism) in the Okanagan in summer. There is also some agricultural traffic in both valleys. There is limited 3 and 4 laning.

See also[edit]