British Columbia Highway 5A

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Highway 5A shield

Highway 5A
Princeton-Merritt Highway
Merritt-Kamloops Highway
Route information
Auxiliary route of BC 5
Length: 182 km (113 mi)
Existed: 1986 – present
Major junctions
South end: BC 3 in Princeton
  BC 97C near Merritt
BC 5 / BC 8 in Merritt
North end: BC 1 / BC 5 / BC 97 in Kamloops
Major cities: Merritt, Kamloops
Towns: Princeton
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 5 BC 6

Highway 5A is Highway 5's pre-1986 alignment south of Kamloops. Unlike the four-lane Highway 5 freeway, the 182 km (113 mi) long Highway 5A is only two lanes, with one four lane section.

Route details[edit]

Starting at the junction of the Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3) in Princeton, Highway 5A goes through 63 km (39 mi) of undeveloped land north to its junction with the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) at Aspen Grove. Past Aspen Grove, Highway 5A and Highway 97C travel in a shared designation northwest for 23 km (14 mi) in a four lane alignment before intersecting the Coquihalla Highway 5 and Highway 8 at Merritt. After a 4 km (2.5 mi) gap, Highway 5A continues north northeast for 89 km (55 mi), passing through the community of Quilchena, before terminating within Kamloops at its junction with Highways 5, 1 and 97 (which are overlapped at the point where 5A terminates).[1]

Highway 5A used to circle through Merritt for 7 km (4 mi), following Nicola Street (Highways 8 and 97C) and Voght Street, to its second crossover of Highway 5 in the north area of Merritt; however, it was dropped by the province in 2008.[2] The two segments can be access by either traveling through Merritt or following Highway 5.

Highway 5A is often considered to be a back country highway due to its low traffic volumes and features unusual to highways (e.g. cattleguards). Highway 5A between Aspen Grove and Merritt saw major upgrades in the late 1980s to prepare for the opening of the Okanagan Connector, but still remained two lanes for several years after. When the Okanagan Connector opened on October 1, 1990, the Hamilton Hill section was moved to a new four lane alignment north of the former route. Controversial plans once called for the Okanagan Connector to continue past Aspen Grove and Highway 5A to meet with Highway 5 south of Merritt. When it became apparent that this extension was unlikely, the highway was four lanes in stages from Aspen Grove to the Hamilton Hill Brake Check. Although upgraded for Okanagan Connector traffic, Highway 5A from Aspen Grove to Merritt is not considered to be a freeway, due to its numerous at-grade intersections and undivided nature. The speed limit on this stretch is 110 km/h, which is 10 km/h lower than both the Okanagan Connector and the Coquihalla Highways.

Major intersections[edit]

From south to north:

Regional district Location km[1] mi Destinations Notes
Okanagan-Similkameen Princeton 0.00 0.00 BC 3 (Crowsnest Highway) – Osoyoos, Vancouver BC 5A southern terminus
Thompson-Nicola Aspen Grove 62.68 38.95 BC 97C east (Okanagan Connector) – Kelowna BC 5A branches north; south end of BC 97C concurrency
Merritt 86.22 53.57 YellowheadShield.jpg BC 5 (Coquihalla Highway) – Vancouver, Kamloops Coldwater Interchange (Exit 286)
BC 5A officially ends; roadway continues as BC 8 / BC 97C
90.37 56.15 Voght Street
BC 8 west / BC 97C north (Nicola Avenue) – Spences Bridge, Logan Lake, Ashcroft
Former BC 5A branches northeast onto Vought Street
93.17 57.89 YellowheadShield.jpg BC 5 (Coquihalla Highway) – Kamloops, Vancouver Nicola Interchange (Exit 286)
BC 5A resumes
Kamloops 183.10 113.77 YellowheadShield.jpg BC 1 / BC 5 / BC 97 (Trans-Canada Highway) – Vancouver, Salmon Arm, Jasper, Vernon Aberdeen interchange (Exit 368)
BC 5A northern terminus
Continues as Hillside Way
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former
  •       Concurrency terminus
  •       Route transition


  1. ^ a b Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 171–176, 202. 
  2. ^ "Landmark Kilometre Inventory: Revision History 2002 - 2015" (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Cypher Consulting. July 15, 2015. p. 21. 

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata

External links[edit]