British Columbia Highway 99

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Highway 99 shield

Highway 99
Vancouver-Blaine Freeway
Sea to Sky Highway
Duffey Lake Road
Route information
Length: 409 km (254 mi)
Existed: 1942 – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑5 at Canada-United States border in Surrey
  BC 91 in Delta
BC 17A in Delta
BC 17 in Delta
BC 91 in Richmond
BC 7 in Vancouver
BC 1A in Vancouver
BC 1 in West Vancouver
BC 12 in Lillooet
North end: BC 97 near Cache Creek
Location
Major cities: Surrey
Delta
Richmond
Vancouver
West Vancouver
Squamish
Whistler
Pemberton
Lillooet
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 97D BC 101

Highway 99, also known as the Sea to Sky Highway, the Squamish Highway, Route 99, or Whistler Highway, is the major north-south artery running through the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia from the U.S. border, up Howe Sound through the Sea to Sky Country to Lillooet, and connecting to Highway 97 just north of Cache Creek. The number of this highway is derived from the old U.S. Route 99, with which the highway originally connected. The highway currently connects with Interstate 5 at the international border.

This highway received the '99' designation in 1942 after completion of the King George VI Highway (1940) to the U.S. border, and it originally shared an alignment with Highway 1 from Surrey to Vancouver via the Pattullo Bridge and Kingsway. The current freeway alignment of Highway 99 between 8th Avenue in South Surrey and the North Arm of the Fraser River opened in 1962 as Hwy. 99 and was called the Deas (Island) Throughway. Between 1964 and 1973, the freeway alignment of Highway 99 was designated Highway 499. The Oak Street Bridge was built in 1957 to cross the North Arm Fraser River and the Deas Island Tunnel was built 1957-59 (renamed the George Massey Tunnel in 1967) to cross the Fraser River. Tolls were collected at the crossings but were rescinded by the provincial government around 1963-64.

In 1957, the northern end of Highway 99 was moved from downtown Vancouver, across the Lions Gate Bridge and west to the village of Horseshoe Bay, following Marine Drive through West Vancouver. Highway 99 was re-aligned via Taylor Way, just east of the Park Royal Shopping Centre, to the Upper Levels Highway and extended to Britannia Beach one year later, extending to Squamish in 1959, and to Pemberton in 1966. Finally, in 1992, the just-paved Duffey Lake Road between Pemberton and Lillooet was made part of Highway 99, and the section of Highway 12 between Lillooet and Highway 97 was re-numbered 99. The portion of the highway between Lillooet and Pavilion was part of the route of the Old Cariboo Road.

The total length of Highway 99 from the U.S. border to the Highway 97 junction is 409 kilometres (254 mi). In 2006 the UK's The Guardian newspaper listed the Sea to Sky as the 5th best road trip.[1]

Route details[edit]

South Surrey to Richmond[edit]

Highway 99 in Metro Vancouver, highlighted in red.
Highway 99, looking north (towards Vancouver) from the Steveston Highway overpass, just north of the George Massey Tunnel.

In the south, Highway 99 begins at the British Columbia – Washington State border crossing at Douglas, on the Canadian side of Peace Arch Park, as a continuation of Interstate 5. The highway begins with a four-lane freeway configuration. Highway 99 travels through Surrey 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) due northwest from the border, through four interchanges, and then turns west for 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) before reaching the junction with Highway 91, marking the highway's entry into the Corporation of Delta. Four km (2½ mi) west, Highway 99 reaches its junction with Ladner Trunk Road (formerly Highway 10). Eight km (5 mi) north, Highway 99 reaches a junction with Highway 17A. Another 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) northwest, Highway 99 crosses into Richmond through the George Massey Tunnel, also known as the Deas Tunnel or Deas Island Tunnel. From Surrey to Vancouver, the speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph).

Through Richmond, Highway 99 travels 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north from the Steveston Highway interchange, at the north mouth of the tunnel, to a junction which connects to the Westminster Highway, Knight Street, and western end of Highway 91. Another 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) northwest, the southern freeway section of Highway 99 ends as the highway crosses the North Arm of the Fraser River, over the Oak Street Bridge, into Vancouver.

Vancouver[edit]

The Lions' Gate Bridge carries Highway 99 between Vancouver and North Vancouver

The 30 kilometres (19 mi) long route through Vancouver's city streets starts off going north on Oak Street to the intersection with West 70th Avenue. Highway 99 then goes west on West 70th Avenue,[2] and then north along Granville Street for 7 kilometres (4.3 mi). It crosses over False Creek (via the Granville Street Bridge) into the downtown core. Highway 99 north goes through the downtown area by way of Seymour Street (southbound it uses Howe Street) and Georgia Street, through Stanley Park, and over the Lions Gate Bridge into West Vancouver at Marine Drive.

Trans-Canada Highway/Upper Levels Highway[edit]

In West Vancouver, Highway 99 goes west on Marine Drive and north on Taylor Way, to Highway 1. Highway 99 shares the Upper Levels Highway with Highway 1 for 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west, diverging from Highway 1 near the BC Ferries terminal at Horseshoe Bay.

Sea to Sky Highway and Duffey Lake Road[edit]

Highway 99 Near Squamish

The "Sea to Sky Highway" is the name given to the section of Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton. From Horseshoe Bay, the highway travels along the coast of Howe Sound for 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) to Lions Bay, north for another 21 kilometres (13 mi), crossing into the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District en route to Britannia Beach, and north for 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) to Squamish, at the head of Howe Sound. From Squamish, it continues north for another 58 kilometres (36 mi) to Whistler, and then to Pemberton 32 kilometres (20 mi) later, where the Sea-to-Sky Highway ends and Duffey Lake Road begins. After going for almost 100 winding kilometres in very steep mountains where sometimes the speed limit is 30 km/h, (99 km) (62 mi) northeast, Highway 99 reaches the junction with Highway 12 at Lillooet, and then goes northeast for another 75 kilometres (47 mi) to its northern terminus at its junction with Highway 97, just north of Cache Creek and just south of Clinton. The speed limit of the Sea-to-Sky Highway can either be 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph) or 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph).

The Sea to Sky Highway section of Highway 99 has a checkered history. Built on a steep cliff overlooking Howe Sound, it was a two-lane undivided highway with no outside barrier. Many motorists have lost their lives on it due to inclement weather, poor visibility, speeding, passing slower vehicles, or drunk driving. (Local media have called it variously the "Killer Highway", the "Highway of Death", and the "Ski-And-Die Highway".[citation needed])

As part of the 2010 Winter Olympics bid, the British Columbia provincial government has authorized upgrading the highway to accommodate greater traffic loads, widening the highway and adding a concrete divider. Starting in 2002 a large section was upgraded between Squamish and Whistler that had already seen major improvements during the 1980s. The Sea to Sky is a freeway from the interchange with Highway 1 to the at-grade intersection with Lawrence Way. After that, there are sporadic interchanges and at-grade intersections. It is mostly a divided highway all the way to Lions Bay and through Squamish.

On-site protests delayed part of the construction. Protesters claimed that a tunnel under Eagleridge Bluffs was a safer and environmentally friendlier alternative. A court injunction and police were used to remove the protestors, one of whom, Harriet Nahanee, a respected Squamish elder, died soon after in the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre from health complications alleged to be related to her arrest and incarceration.[3][4]

Exit list[edit]

Regional district Location km[5] Mile Exit Destinations Notes
Metro Vancouver Surrey 0.00 0.00 I‑5 south – Seattle Continuation beyond Canada–United States border; southern terminus of BC 99
0.62 0.39 Peace Park Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1 Beach Road At-grade intersection
1.04 0.65 2 8th Avenue to TCH-1 (BC).svg BC 1USA Border, White Rock, Hope Signed as exits 2A (8th Avenue east) and 2B (8th Avenue west) southbound; southbound exit 2B is via King George Boulevard
3.41 2.12 16th Avenue Interchange under construction; expected completion is 2015
7.27 4.52 8A 152nd Street south Southbound exit only
7.27 4.52 8B 32nd Avenue, 152nd Street north Southbound exit and northbound entrance
9.27 5.76 10 King George Boulevard – Surrey No access to BC 99 southbound from King George northbound
Delta 15.37 9.55 16 BC 91 north – North Delta, New Westminster
20.06 12.46 20 Ladner Trunk Road – South Delta
23 80th Street, Ladner Trunk Road Southbound only
26 BC 17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road) – Surrey, Tsawwassen, Victoria, Nanaimo Victoria and Nanaimo are via BC Ferries
27.48 17.08 28 BC 17A south (to River Road) – Victoria Victoria via BC Ferries
28.88 17.95 29 River Road south Southbound exit only
Delta–Richmond line 29.55–
30.41
18.36–
18.90
George Massey Tunnel under the South Arm Fraser River
Richmond 31.24 19.41 32 Steveston Highway
35.33 21.95 36 Westminster Highway Northbound exit and southbound entrance
35.85 22.28 37 BC 91 – North Delta, Surrey
37.78 23.48 38 Shell Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
38.37 23.84 39 Bridgeport Road – Airport Northbound exit and entrance
38.49 23.92 North end of freeway
38.54 23.95 39B No. 4 Road Southbound exit only
39.14 24.32 39A Sea Island Way – Airport No northbound exit
Richmond–Vancouver line 38.91–
40.69
24.18–
25.28
Oak Street Bridge over the North Arm Fraser River
Vancouver 41 Marine Drive Signed as 41A (Marine Drive east) and 41B (Marine Drive west) northbound; no exit number southbound; southbound exit is via Oak Street
4th Avenue, Fir Street south Interchange; 4th Avenue is southbound exit and northbound entrance; Fir Street is southbound exit only
Granville Street Bridge over False Creek
Seymour Street Northbound exit to Seymour Street and southbound entrance from Howe Street
Stanley Park Drive, Pipeline Road South end of BC-1A.svg BC 1A concurrency
5.36 3.33 Stanley Park Drive Closed during peak hours
Vancouver–West Vancouver line 3.39–
1.86
2.11–
1.16
Lions Gate Bridge over Burrard Inlet
West Vancouver 1.18 0.73 Capilano Road, Marine Drive east to TCH-1 (BC).svg BC 1 Interchange
0.00
13.15
0.00
8.17
BC 1 east / Taylor Way – North Vancouver Interchange; north end of BC 1A concurrency; south end of BC 1 concurrency
South end of freeway
11.46 7.12 11 15th Street, Cross Creek Road
10.59 6.58 10 21st Street, Westhill Drive, Folkestone Way, 22nd Street 22nd Street is southbound exit only; no southbound access to 21st Street, Westhill Drive, Folkestone Way
8.54 5.31 8 Cypress Bowl Road
6.95 4.32 7 Wentworth Avenue, Westmount Road
4.29 2.67 4 Westport Road, Northwood Drive
2.21 1.37 3 BC 1 west to BC 101 – Nanaimo, Gibsons North end of BC 1 concurrency; BC 101, Nanaimo and Gibsons are via BC Ferries
1.94
0.61
1.21
0.38
2 Eagleridge Drive to Marine Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance
3.81 2.37 Horseshoe Bay Drive to Marine Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance; former BC 99; serves Horseshoe Bay
4.31 2.68 Ansell Place
5.91 3.67 Lawrence Way At-grade intersection
  7.67–
8.74
4.77–
5.43
Strachan Point Road Southbound right-in and right-out
  9.18 5.70 Ocean Point Drive to Strachan Point Road
Lions Bay 11.74 7.29 Kelvin Grove Way Southbound exit and entrance are via Lion Grove Way
12.39–
12.74
7.70–
7.92
Lions Bay Avenue Southbound exit is via Isleview Place
14.31 8.89 Brunswick Road
Squamish-Lillooet   Porteau Road U-turn route
  Furry Creek Drive Southbound exit is via Waterfront Drive
  North end of freeway
Britannia Beach Copper Drive
  Darrell Bay Road, Shannon Falls Road Darrell Bay Road serves Darrell Bay; Shannon Falls Road serves Shannon Falls Provincial Park
Squamish Cleveland Avenue, Loggers Lane – Squamish
Centennial Way Right-in and right-out
Depot Road – Brackendale
Squamish Valley Road, Alice Lake Road – Squamish Valley, Paradise Valley Alice Lake Road serves Alice Lake Provincial Park
  Retta Lake Road Serves Retta Lake
  Callaghan Valley Road – Brandywine Valley, Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Lake Provincial Park
Whistler Village Gate Road – Whistler Village
Lormier Road – Upper Village
Nicklaus North Boulevard, Cypress Place Nicklaus North Boulevard serves Whistler/Green Lake Water Aerodrome
Pemberton Pemberton Meadows Road, Vine Road – Pemberton
Lillooet Texas Creek (Texas Creek Road)
Lillooet, Gold Bridge (Seton Lake Road)
BC 12 (Lytton-Lilloet Highway) – Lytton, Spences Bridge, Hope
  BC 97 – Prince George, 100 Mile House, Cache Creek, Kamloops Northern terminus of BC 99
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Guardian Newspaper
  2. ^ A left turn from Oak onto 70th is not permitted, but a right turn from 70th onto Oak is permitted.
  3. ^ "First Nations elder Harriet Nahanee (1935 - 2007)". Institute for the History of Science. 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  4. ^ Harriet Nahanee Did Not Die in Vain, Rafe Mair, The Tyee, March 5, 2007
  5. ^ B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (July 2010). "B.C. Landmark Kilometre Inventory". Retrieved July 31, 2013.