Crowsnest Highway

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British Columbia Highway 3.svg Alberta Highway 3 (Crowsnest).png

Crowsnest Highway
Highway 3
BC-roads-3.png Alberta-roads-3.png
Route information
Length: 1,161 km (721 mi)
Existed: 1932 – present
Major junctions
West end: BC 1 near Hope, BC
East end: Hwy 1 / Hwy 41A in Medicine Hat, AB
Location
Municipalities: Hope, Sparwood
Specialized
and rural
municipalities:
Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek No. 9 M.D., Willow Creek No. 26 M.D., Lethbridge County, Taber M.D., Forty Mile No. 8 County, Cypress County
Major cities: Greenwood, Grand Forks, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Fernie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat
Towns: Princeton, Osoyoos, Creston, Fort Macleod, Coalhurst, Coaldale, Taber, Bow Island
Villages: Keremeos, Midway, Salmo, Cowley, Barnwell
Highway system
Trans-Canada Highway
Provincial highways in British Columbia

Provincial highways in Alberta

BC 2 BC BC 3A
Hwy 2A AB Hwy 3A

The Crowsnest Highway, also known as the Interprovincial or, in British Columbia, the Southern Trans-Provincial, is an east-west highway, 1,161 km (721 mi) in length, through the southern parts of British Columbia and Alberta, providing the shortest highway connection between British Columbia's Lower Mainland and southeast Alberta. It is designated a core route in Canada's National Highway System,[1] and is designated as Highway 3 for its entire length.

The highway, which is mostly two lanes, was officially established in 1932, mainly following a mid-19th century gold rush trail originally traced out by an engineer named Edgar Dewdney. It takes its name from the Crowsnest Pass, the location at which the highway crosses the Continental Divide between British Columbia and Alberta.

In British Columbia, the first segment of the highway between the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 5A is locally known as the Hope-Princeton Highway. In Alberta, the highway forms concurrencies with both the Red Coat Trail and the CANAMEX Corridor from Highway 2 west of Fort Macleod to Highway 4 at the eastern limits of Lethbridge.

Route description[edit]

The peak of Allison Pass.

British Columbia[edit]

The Crowsnest Highway's total length in British Columbia is 837 km (520 mi),[citation needed] and its total length within Alberta is 324 km (201 mi).[2] The Crowsnest Highway's western terminus is at Hope, where it branches off from Highway 1. The highway goes east for 7 km (4.3 mi) to its junction with Highway 5, then through Allison Pass and Manning Provincial Park for 127 km (79 mi) towards the Town of Princeton. There are several significant ascents in this stretch between Hope and Princeton. The first is the steep climb to the Hope Slide, followed later by the remainder of the climb up to Allison Pass at an elevation of 1,342m (4,473 ft). After the summit of Allison Pass, where the Crowsnest crosses from the Fraser Valley Regional District into the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the road descends for 40 km (25 mi) before beginning another long climb up Sunday Summit (1,284m, 4,280 ft). Soon after Sunday Summit is the descent into Princeton, where Highway 5A begins.

Through the Similkameen Valley westwards into the mountains

After Princeton, the Crowsnest goes southeast for 67 km (42 mi), through Hedley, to the Village of Keremeos, where a junction with a length of highway designated as 3A is located, leading towards Penticton and Highway 97. Another 46 km (29 mi) southeast, and the Crowsnest reaches the Town of Osoyoos and a junction with Highway 97. The highway then proceeds to hug the Canada-U.S. border east through a stretch of switchbacks known as Anarchist Mountain, which is also the name of the upland rural community beyond the summit. A few kilometres east of Anarchist Mountain, the Crowsnest enters the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

52 km (32 mi) east of Osoyoos, the Crowsnest reaches its junction with Highway 33 at Rock Creek, then the highway heads east for 70 km (43 mi) to its junction with Highway 41 at a location called Carson, just west of Grand Forks. Another 26 km (16 mi) east, passing through Grand Forks en route, the Crowsnest meets Highway 395 at the southern end of Christina Lake.

Further east from Christina Lake, the Crowsnest travels for 47 km (29 mi) through Bonanza Pass to its junction with Highway 3B at Nancy Greene Lake, which is the cutoff to the ski town of Rossland, shortly thereafter crossing into the Regional District of Central Kootenay. It is another 26 km (16 mi) east from Nancy Greene Lake to the junction with Highway 22 at Castlegar, and another 2 km (1.2 mi) east to a junction with another stretch of Highway designated as 3A, also within Castlegar. Leaving Castlegar, the Crowsnest reaches its eastern junction with Highway 3B 26 km (16 mi) east. Highway 6 converges with the Crowsnest at Salmo, 11 km (6.8 mi) east of the 3B junction, and the two highways proceed south for 14 km (8.7 mi) to the Burnt Flat Junction, where Highway 6 diverges south.

East of Burnt Flat, the Crowsnest heads through the Kootenay Pass on a stretch known as the Kootenay Skyway, or Salmo-Creston Skyway. 67 km (42 mi) east of Burnt Flat, the Crowsnest reaches the Town of Creston, just past junctions with Highway 21 and Highway 3A. 40 km (25 mi) later, south of Yahk, Highway 95 merges onto the Crowsnest. The two highways share a common alignment for 72 km (45 mi) northeast along the Moyie River, crossing into the Regional District of East Kootenay along the way, to a junction with Highway 95A at Cranbrook. Another 6 km (3.7 mi) east, Highway 95 diverges north from the Crowsnest and Highway 93 merges onto the Crowsnest from the north. Highway 93 and the Crowsnest share a common alignment for the next 53 km (33 mi) southeast to Elko, where Highway 93 diverges south. 31 km (19 mi) north of Elko, the Crowsnest reaches Fernie, then it goes north another 30 km (19 mi) to its junction with Highway 43 at Sparwood, and another 19 km (12 mi) east, the highway reaches the boundary with Alberta at Crowsnest Pass.

Alberta[edit]

The Alberta portion of the Crowsnest Highway is designated Alberta Provincial Highway No. 3.[3] Once into Alberta, the Crowsnest Highway goes east 16 km (9.9 mi) to the Bighorn Highway at Coleman, then 26 km (16 mi) east to its junction with Highway 22, another 20 km (12 mi) to its junction with Highway 6, then another 44 km (27 mi) to its junction with Highway 2 north, then proceeding 5 km (3.1 mi) east into the Town of Fort Macleod and the Crowsnest's junction with Highway 2 south. After Fort Macleod, the Crowsnest goes 27 km (17 mi) east, crossing the Oldman River, to Highway 3A southeast of Monarch, which feeds Highway 23.

The highway reaches the first access (Westview Drive W) to the City of Lethbridge 13 km (8.1 mi) later. At this point, the Crowsnest's only freeway segment begins. 2 km (1.2 mi) later, Highway 25 (University Drive W) branches to the north before crossing the Oldman River for the second time. The freeway segment ends at Mayor Magrath Drive, which branches as Highway 5 to the south. The highway intersects Highway 4 at the eastern limits of Lethbridge.

45 km (28 mi) east of Lethbridge, the Crowsnest reaches the Town of Taber. Within Taber, Highway 36 runs concurrently with the highway for 3 km (1.9 mi). Upon dropping the concurrency, the Crowsnest ends 113 km (70 mi) later at the Trans-Canada Highway in the City of Medicine Hat.

Major intersections[edit]

British Columbia[edit]

The following is a list of exits along the expressway and freeway portions of British Columbia Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway).

Hope to Princeton[edit]

BC-roads-3.png


Regional district Location km Mile Destinations Notes
Fraser Valley Hope BC 1 north, Water Avenue Eastbound only
3 Avenue Westbound only
Old Hope- Princeton Way
Fraser Valley Electoral Area B BC 5 Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3, Crowsnest Highway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Castlegar[edit]

Regional district Location km Mile Destinations Notes
Kootenays Castlegar BC 22 south (Columbia Ave.) – Rossland, Trail
20th St., 6th Ave. to BC 22 Westbound only
BC 3A east – Castlegar Airport, Nelson
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Cranbrook[edit]

Regional district Location km Mile Destinations Notes
East Kootenay Cranbrook Begin expressway at 22nd Street north
23rd Street N At-grade intersection
30th Street N At-grade intersection
BC 95A north – Cranbrook Airport, Kimberley
BC 95 / BC 93 north – Fort Steele, Invermere, Radium Hot Springs Begin multiplex with Highway 93
Expressway ends
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Alberta[edit]

Alberta-roads-3.png

The following is a list of major intersections along Alberta Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway) from west to east.[2][4]

Municipality km (mi) Description Notes
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass 0 (0) Begins at British Columbia border
Preceded by BC 3
 
16 (9.9) Hwy 40 branches off to the north at Coleman  
Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 35 (22) Hwy 507 branches off to the south near Burmis  
40 (25) Hwy 3A branches off to the southeast  
42 (26) Hwy 22 branches off to the north  
43 (27) Hwy 3A branches off to the southwest near Lundbreck  
Village of Cowley 52 (32) Hwy 510 branches off to the north  
Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 62 (39) Hwy 6 branches off to the south at Pincher Station  
65 (40) Crosses Hwy 785  
77 (48) Hwy 786 branches off to the south at Brocket  
Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26 105 (65) Hwy 810 branches off to the south  
106 (66) Hwy 2 branches off to the north
Hwy 2 concurrency begins
Interchange (Exit 89 on Hwy 2)
RedCoatTrail.png Red Coat Trail concurrency begins
CANAMEX Corridor concurrency begins
Town of Fort Macleod 110 (68) Hwy 811 branches off to the north  
111 (69) Hwy 2 branches off to the south
Hwy 2 concurrency ends
 
Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26 132 (82) Hwy 3A branches off to the northeast  
Lethbridge County Crosses the Oldman River
138 (86) Hwy 3A branches off to the northwest to Hwy 23 Partial interchange
145 (90) Hwy 509 branches off to the south
UAR 205 branches off to the north at Kipp near Coalhurst
 
City of Lethbridge 151 (94) Hwy 3A (Westside Drive W) branches off to the southeast Partial interchange
153 (95) Hwy 25 branches off to the north
University Drive W branches off to the south
Interchange
155 (96) Bridge Drive W (former Hwy 3A) branches off to the south Interchange
Crosses the Oldman River
155.5 (96.6) Crosses an unnamed road in the Oldman River valley Interchange
156 (97) 5 Avenue N branches off to the east Partial interchange
156.5 (97.2) 1 Avenue S branches off to the south Eastbound exit only
157 (98) Crosses Scenic Drive Partial interchange
158 (98) Crosses Stafford Drive Interchange
159 (99) Crosses 13 Street Grade-separated, westbound exit only
160 (99) Crosses Mayor Magrath Drive
Hwy 5 branches off to the south
Interchange
161.5 (100.4) Hwy 512 (1 Avenue S) branches off to the east Eastbound exit only
162 (101) Crosses 43 Street
Hwy 4 branches off to the south
Hwy 843 branches off to the north
RedCoatTrail.png Red Coat Trail concurrency ends
CANAMEX Corridor concurrency ends
Town of Coaldale 174 (108) Crosses Hwy 845  
Lethbridge County 184 (114) Hwy 512 branches off to the south  
Municipal District of Taber 199 (124) Hwy 3A branches off to the northeast to Barnwell  
202 (126) Hwy 3A branches off to the northwest to Barnwell  
Town of Taber 207 (129) Hwy 864 branches off to the north  
208 (129) Hwy 36 branches off to the south
Hwy 36 concurrency begins
 
211 (131) Hwy 36 branches off to the north
Hwy 36 concurrency ends
 
Municipal District of Taber 242 (150) Hwy 877 branches off to the south at Grassy Lake  
County of Forty Mile No. 8 260 (160) Crosses Hwy 879 between Burdett and Bow Island  
286 (178) Hwy 885 branches off to the south  
Cypress County 302 (188) Hwy 887 branches off to the south near Seven Persons  
City of Medicine Hat 321 (199) Hwy 523 (Holsom Road SW) branches off to the west  
324 (201) Ends at Hwy 1
Succeeded by Hwy 41A
Interchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Highway System". Transport Canada. 2009-12-13. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  2. ^ a b "2010 Provincial Highways 1 - 216 Series Progress Chart". Alberta Transportation. March 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  3. ^ Provincial Highways Designation Order, Alberta Transportation, p. 2 
  4. ^ Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. Alberta Official Road Map (Map) (2010 ed.). Section N-5, N–6, N-7, N–8.

External links[edit]