British Columbia Highway 97
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Highway 97 is the longest continuously numbered route in the Canadian province of British Columbia (and the longest provincial highway in any province), running 2,081 km (1,293 mi) from the Canada–United States border near Osoyoos in the south to the British Columbia/Yukon boundary in the north at Watson Lake, Yukon. The route takes its number from U.S. Route 97, with which it connects at the international border. The highway was initially designated '97' in 1953.
The Okanagan Highway is a 189 km (117 mi) section of Highway 97 between the international border and the junction of Highway 97A north of Vernon. It is named for the Okanagan region of British Columbia, through which it largely passes. It begins in the south at the international border crossing north of Oroville, and travels 4 km (2.5 mi) north to its junction with the Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3) at Osoyoos. The highway travels north for 47 km (29 mi), passing through the Testalinden Creek Landslide and the communities of Oliver and Okanagan Falls. From Okanagan Falls, Highway 97 runs near the western shore of Skaha Lake before arriving at the locality of Kaleden, where Highway 3A diverges west.
13 km (8 mi) north of Kaleden, Highway 97 arrives at the city of Penticton. North of Penticton, Highway 97 follows the western shore of Okanagan Lake for 45 km (28 mi), through the communities of Summerland and Peachland, before reaching its junction with Highway 97C just south of Westbank. From there, Highway 97 passes through West Kelowna and reserve lands belonging to the Westbank First Nation until, 15 km (9 mi) northeast of the 97C junction, Highway 97 begins to cross Okanagan Lake via the William R. Bennett Bridge. The highway enters the city of Kelowna upon landfall on the east shore of the lake. 6 km (4 mi) east into the city centre, the highway reaches its junction with Highway 33. As the Okanagan is a very popular travel destination and also has the highest population in inland B.C. (about 300,000), this section of highway 97 is by far the busiest. Congestion is frequent - particularly near the William Bennett Bridge, and Southbound towards West Kelowna.
Four kilometres (21⁄2 mi) north of the Highway 33 junction, Highway 97 leaves the urbanized area of Kelowna (the municipal boundary is actually a further 12 km, 7 mi, north). For the next 43 km (27 mi), the route travels well east of Okanagan Lake, passing through the community of Winfield. Prior to 2013, the highway ran alongside the west shore of Wood Lake to Oyama. A new 9 km (6 mi) section of four-lane highway was constructed and opened to traffic at that time, which bypasses Oyama entirely to the north. The original section of the highway skirting the western shore of Wood Lake is now known as Pelmewash Parkway. Both Oyama and Winfield lie within the municipality of Lake Country.
Highway 97 then passes along the west shore of Kalamalka Lake before entering the city of Vernon and a junction with Highway 6 just south of the city centre. The highway then travels north for 10 km (6 mi) to a junction with Highway 97A near Swan Lake.
Highway 97 continues northwest from Highway 97A for 81 km (50 mi), past the town of Falkland, before it merges onto the Trans-Canada Highway at Monte Creek, and is known as the Vernon-Monte Creek Highway. The highway follows Highway 1 for 105 km (65 mi) west to Cache Creek. As it travels westward, Highways 1 and 97 parallel the Thompson River, passing through the city of Kamloops, where the route shares a 12 km (7 mi) wrong-way concurrency with Highway 5 (signed as 97 North and 5 South and vice versa) and intersects Highway 5A.
The Cariboo Highway section of Highway 97, between Cache Creek and Prince George, is 441 km (274 mi) in length and named for the Cariboo region, through which it travels. Much of its length as far as Quesnel follows approximately the route of the original Cariboo Wagon Road, which was also known as the Queen's Highway. The Cariboo Wagon Road's lower stretches between Yale and Cache Creek were severed in many places by the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s. That section, now part of the Trans-Canada, was rebuilt in the 1920s, when the name Cariboo Highway was first applied to the route, a designation which ran from Yale to Prince George, British Columbia (where portions of the route survive as the Old Cariboo Highway). Today the Cariboo Highway designation begins at Cache Creek, veering north for 11 km (7 mi) to its junction with Highway 99. North of Highway 99, Highway 97 travels 92 km (57 mi) through Clinton, where the British Columbia Railway begins to roughly parallel Highway 97, as well as through the community of 70 Mile House before reaching a junction at 93 Mile House with Highway 24 (the Interlakes Highway). The roughly 30 km (19 mi) section of highway between 70 Mile House and Highway 24 has been re-routed to a new expressway with a speed limit of 110km/h.
Over the 100 km (62 mi) of road north of Highway 24, Highway 97 travels through 100 Mile House and 150 Mile House before reaching the city of Williams Lake and a junction with Highway 20, which runs west across the Chilcotin District to Bella Coola on the Central Coast. Over the next 120 km (75 mi) continuing generally northward, the highway passes through McLeese Lake and Marguerite. En route, Highway 97 follows the east bank of the Fraser River to the city of Quesnel, and a junction with Highway 26. Over the next 115 km (71 mi) north of Quesnel, after passing through the hamlets of Strathnaver, Hixon, Stoner and Red Rock, Highway 97 meets its junction with Highway 16 at Prince George. North of here, the highway veers away from the Fraser River, and the British Columbia Railway veers northwestward from it.
The term Cariboo Highway originally applied to the reconstructed route from Hope through the Fraser Canyon to Cache Creek and Prince George. Constructed in 1924-25, the new gravel toll highway opened in 1926, giving road access to canyon communities cut off since the destruction of parts of the Cariboo Road by construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s. The Cariboo Highway designation for the Fraser Canyon portion of the route was supplanted with the completion and naming of the Trans-Canada Highway c.-1962. Portions of the old highway survive as local streets, some carrying the name Old Cariboo Highway (as in Prince George).
John Hart Highway
This 405 km-long (252 mi) stretch of Highway 97, named for former British Columbia Premier John Hart, begins at the John Hart Bridge crossing the Nechako River in Prince George, travelling for 152 km (94 mi) north through the small hamlet of Summit Lake, which is situated at the Continental Divide, as well as through Crooked River Provincial Park, Bear Lake and McLeod Lake, to its intersection with Highway 39. It then journeys northeast another 150 km (93 mi) over the crest of the Rocky Mountains via the Pine Pass, at which point the time zone changes from Pacific Time to Mountain Time. After descending from the Pine Pass, the highway generally follows the Pine River northeast to its intersection with Highway 29 at the town of Chetwynd. After a trek of another 97 km (60 mi) east, the Hart Highway terminates at Dawson Creek.
This northernmost section of Highway 97 is 965 km (600 mi) long, and travels north through largely unpopulated wilderness, intersecting the communities of Fort St. John and Fort Nelson, the latter being just east of the junction of Highway 77, travelling north to the Northwest Territories. Here, the highway veers generally northwestward into wilderness spotted with tiny localities. As it passes over the Rocky Mountains, the highway parallels the Liard River before terminating just over the BC/Yukon boundary at Watson Lake, where the Alaska Highway is numbered as Yukon Highway 1.
|Okanagan-Similkameen||||0.00||0.00||US 97 south – Oroville, Wenatchee||Continues into Washington; Okanagan Highway south end|
|49th parallel at Oroville-Osoyoos Border Crossing|
|Osoyoos||4.50||2.80||Hwy 3 (Crowsnest Highway) – Grand Forks, Castlegar, Hope, Vancouver||Former south end of Hwy 3A concurrency.|
|Oliver||24.53||15.24||Fairview Road – Mount Baldy Ski Area|
|||51.67||32.11||Hwy 3A west – Keremeos, Vancouver||Former north end of Hwy 3A concurrency.|
|Penticton||60.41||37.54||Skaha Lake Road – City Centre|
|63.35||39.36||Fairview Road, Green Mountain Road – Apex Mountain Resort|
|65.19||40.51||Eckhardt Avenue – City Centre, Naramata|
|Summerland||80.98||50.32||Rosedale Avenue – Town Centre|
|Central Okanagan||Peachland||101.81||63.26||Princeton Avenue, Beach Avenue – Town Centre|
|103.91||64.57||Ponderossa Drive, 13th Street – Town Centre|
|109.01||67.74||Hwy 97C west (Okanagan Connector) – Merritt, Kamloops, Vancouver||Drought Hill interchange|
|West Kelowna||111.14||69.06||Glenrosa Road||Glenrosa Road interchange|
|119.81||74.45||Westlake Road, Hudson Road||Interchange proposed|
|121.69||75.61||Boucherie Road, Horizon Drive||Interchange proposed|
|119.81||74.45||Hudson Road, Westside Road||Westside Road interchange|
|124.33||77.26||Campbell Road||Campbell Road interchange|
|William R. Bennett Bridge|
|Central Okanagan||Kelowna||126.32||78.49||Abbot Street|
|126.56||78.64||South end of HOV lanes|
|Pandosy Street, Water Street|
|132.36||82.24||Hwy 33 south – Big White Ski Resort, Rock Creek|
|North end of HOV lanes|
|138.19||85.87||John Hindle Drive – UBC Okanagan||Northbound exit, southbound entrance|
|139.08||86.42||University Way – UBC Okanagan||No northbound exit|
|140.31||87.18||Airport Way – Kelowna International Airport||Interchange proposed|
|Lake Country||148.29||92.14||Beaver Lake Road, Glenmore Road|
|152.67||94.86||Pelmewash Parkway||Wood Lake interchange|
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
|160.51||99.74||Pelmewash Parkway, Gatzke Road||Gatzke Road interchange|
|North Okanagan||Vernon||179.34||111.44||25th Avenue (Hwy 6 east) – Lumby, Nelson|
|181.44||112.74||48th Avenue – Silver Star Mountain Resort|
|183.02||113.72||27th Street||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Spallumcheen||188.97||117.42||Hwy 97A north – Salmon Arm, Sicamous||Swan Lake interchange|
Hwy 97 branches west; Okanagan Highway north end; Vernon-Monte Creek Highway south end
|Columbia-Shuswap||||207.65||129.03||Salmon River Road (Hwy 922:1126 north)|
|Thompson-Nicola||Monte Creek||269.71||167.59||399||Hwy 1 (TCH) east – Salmon Arm, Banff, Calgary||Monte Creek interchange|
East end of Hwy 1 concurrency; Vernon-Monte Creek Highway north end; exit numbers follow Hwy 1
|Hook Road||Hook Road interchange|
|Lafarge Road||Tumbleweed interchange|
|Kokanee Way||Kokanee Way interchange|
|286.65||178.12||384||Kipp Road, Dallas Drive, Barnhartvale Road||Nina Place/Kipp Road interchange|
Westbound exit and entrance
|287.05||178.36||384||Kipp Road, Dallas Drive, Barnhartvale Road||Eastbound right-in/right-out|
|Gap in freeway; 6 signalized intersections|
|295.26||183.47||375||Battle Street – City Centre||Valleyview interchange|
No eastbound exit
|295.71||183.75||374||Hwy 5 north (South Yellowhead Highway) – Sun Peaks, Jasper, Edmonton||Yellowhead interchange|
East end of Hwy 5 concurrency
|299.20||185.91||370||Summit Drive – City Centre||Springhill interchange|
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
|300.13||186.49||369||Columbia Street – City Centre||Sagebrush interchange|
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
|301.08||187.08||368||Hwy 5A south / Hillside Way – Merritt||Sagebrush interchange|
|301.87||187.57||367||Pacific Way||Pacific Way interchange|
|303.55||188.62||366||Copperhead Drive, Lac le Jeune Road||Copperhead interchange|
|307.78||191.25||362||Hwy 5 south (Coquihalla Highway) – Merritt, Kelowna, Vancouver||Afton interchange|
West end of Hwy 5 concurrency; Hwy 1 / Hwy 97 exit freeway
|Savona||343.74||213.59||Savona Bridge (Kamloops Lake Bridge) across Thompson River|
|Cache Creek||379.77||235.98||Hwy 1 (TCH) west / Hwy 97C south – Hope, Vancouver||West end of Hwy 1 concurrency; Hwy 97 branches north; Cariboo Highway south end|
|||390.79||242.83||Hwy 99 south – Lillooet, Pemberton||Scenic route to Vancouver|
|Cariboo||||483.10||300.18||Hwy 24 east – Lone Butte, Bridge Lake, Little Fort|
|100 Mile House||491.57||305.45||Horse Lake Road (Hwy 924:1290 east)|
|494.80||307.45||Canim Hendrix Lake Road (Hwy 927:1142 north) – Forest Grove, Canim Lake, Hendrix Lake|
|150 Mile House||568.44||353.21||Likely Road (Hwy 928:1143 north)|
|Williams Lake||582.63||362.03||Hwy 20 west / Oliver Street – City Centre, Alexis Creek, Bella Coola|
|Quesnel||699.43||434.61||Northstar Road||Northstar Road interchange|
|700.22||435.10||Quesnel River Bridge across Quesnel River|
|701.25||435.74||Carson Avenue, Moffat Approach – Nazko|
|706.93||439.27||Hwy 26 east – Wells, Barkerville|
|Fraser-Fort George||||809.32||502.89||Old Cariboo Highway (Hwy 941:1156 north) to Hwy 16 (TCH) – Airport, McBride, Jasper||Former Hwy 97A|
|Prince George||814.84||506.32||Boundary Road||Proposed Hwy 16 bypass|
|700.22||435.10||Simon Fraser Bridge across Fraser River|
|819.72||509.35||Queensway, Ferry Avenue||Grade separated|
|821.04||510.17||Hwy 16 (TCH) – Terrace, Prince Rupert, Jasper, Edmonton|
|821.74||510.61||Massey Drive, Pine Centre Road||Massey Drive interchange|
|824.77||512.49||John Hart Bridge across Nechako River|
Cariboo Highway north end • John Hart Highway south end
|825.32||512.83||North Nechako Road||North Nechako Road interchange|
|||977.42||607.34||Hwy 39 north – Mackenzie|
|↑ / ↓||||1,015.72||631.14||Pine Pass – el. 933 m (3,061 ft)|
|Peace River||Chetwynd||1,125.54||699.38||Hwy 29 north – Hudson's Hope, Fort St. John||South end of Hwy 29 concurrency|
|||1,128.46||701.19||Hwy 29 south – Tumbler Ridge||North end of Hwy 29 concurrency|
|1,205.75||749.22||Hwy 52 south – Tumbler Ridge|
|Dawson Creek||1,225.37||761.41||Hwy 2 east to Hwy 49 – City Centre, Grande Prairie, Edmonton||John Hart Highway north end • Alaska Highway south end|
|Taylor||1,278.85||794.64||Taylor Bridge across Peace River|
|Fort St. John||1,297.04||805.94||100th Street – Cecil Lake, Fairview||Connects to unofficial Hwy 103|
|||1,309.56||813.72||Hwy 29 south – Hudson's Hope, Chetwynd|
|Northern Rockies||Fort Nelson||1,676.71–|
|Passes through Fort Nelson|
|||1,706.52||1,060.38||Hwy 77 north (Liard Highway) – Fort Liard, Fort Simpson|
|1,819.57||1,130.63||Summit Pass – 1,267 m (4,157 ft)|
|1,985.48||1,233.72||Liard River Bridge across Liard River|
|2,045.67||1,271.12||Coal River Bridge across Coal River|
|1.2 km (0.7 mi) section in Yukon (Remains as BC 97)|
|8.4 km (5.2 mi) section in Yukon (Remains as BC 97)|
|2.4 km (1.5 mi) section in Yukon (Remains as BC 97)|
|||2,159.23||1,341.68||Hyland River Bridge across Hyland River|
|2,189.47||1,360.47||Hwy 1 (Alaska Highway) – Watson Lake, Whitehorse||60th parallel; Continues into Yukon|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Eastbound exit number
- Westbound exit number
- Example of road sign
- Tourism British Columbia. Super, Natural British Columbia Road Map & Parks Guide (Map) (2010-2011 ed.). Davenport Maps Ltd. §§ A-5, A-6, A-7, A-8, B-8, C-8, D-8, D-9, E-9, E-8, F-8, G-8, H-8, H-9, J-9, K-9, K-10, and L-10.
- British Columbia Road Atlas (Map) (2007 ed.). Oshawa, ON: MapArt Publishing Corp. pp. 9–11, 15, 18–19, 28, 34, 44, 56–59, 70-71. ISBN 1-55368-018-9.
- Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2015. pp. 42–49, 401–461.
- Moore, Wayne (27 Feb 2016). "More interchanges coming - West Kelowna News". Castamet - Kelowna's Homepage. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- "HOV Kelowna". British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- "Kelowna International Airport". Airport Technology. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- Chahal, Tony (29 April 2015). "New Bypass In Prince George?". CKPG-TV. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- Google (4 July 2016). "Alaska Highway near Yukon border" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 4 July 2016.