Crowsnest Highway

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

Crowsnest Highway
Highway 3
The Crowsnest Highway (highlighted in red), the Trans-Canada Highway, and the Yellowhead Highway
Route information
Length: 1,161 km (721 mi)
Existed: 1932 – present
British Columbia
Length: 838 km (521 mi)
West end: BC 1 near Hope
Major
junctions:
BC 5 near Hope
BC 5A in Princeton
BC 97 in Osoyoos
BC 22 in Castlegar
BC 6 at Salmo
BC 95 at Yahk and Cranbrook
BC 93 at Cranbrook and Elko
Alberta
Length: 323 km[1] (201 mi)
Major
junctions:
Hwy 22 near Lundbreck
Hwy 6 near Pincher Creek
Hwy 2 in Fort Macleod
Hwy 23 near Monarch
Hwy 5 in Lethbridge
Hwy 4 in Lethbridge
Hwy 36 in Taber
East end: Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 41A in Medicine Hat
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

Provincial highways in Alberta

BC 2 BC BC 3A
Hwy 2A AB Hwy 3A

The Crowsnest Highway is an east-west highway in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. It stretches 1,161 km (721 mi) across the southern portions of both provinces, from Hope, British Columbia to Medicine Hat, Alberta, providing the shortest highway connection between the Lower Mainland and southeast Alberta through the Canadian Rockies. The mostly two-lane highway was officially designated 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 highway is entirely in mountainous regions and is also known as the Southern Trans-Provincial Highway. The first segment between the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 5A is locally known as the Hope-Princeton Highway, and passes by the site of the Hope Slide. In Alberta, terrain is initially mountainous, before smoothing to foothills and eventually generally flat prairie in the vicinity of Pincher Creek. The highway forms part of the Red Coat Trail and the CANAMEX Corridor from Highway 2 near Fort Macleod to Highway 4 in Lethbridge.

Route description[edit]

Crowsnest Highway is designated a core route in Canada's National Highway System, and is designated as Highway 3 for its entire length.[2]

The peak of Allison Pass.

British Columbia[edit]

The Crowsnest Highway's total length in British Columbia is 838 km (521 mi), and its total length within Alberta is 323 km (201 mi).[3] 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 1,342 m (4,403 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 (1,284 m (4,213 ft)). Soon after Sunday Summit is the descent into Princeton, where Highway 5A begins.[4]

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–US 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.[4]

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.[4]

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 town of Rossland and Red Mountain Resort, 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.[4]

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.[4]

Alberta[edit]

Main article: Alberta Highway 3
Highway 3 near Cowley, Alberta

The Alberta portion of the Crowsnest Highway is also designated as Highway 3, running for approximately 323 km (201 mi) from the British Columbia border to Medicine Hat. It begins in Crowsnest Pass paralleling the Canadian Pacific Railway, first meeting Highway 40 at Coleman, then running 26 km (16 mi) east to the southern terminus of Highway 22. Highway 6 splits south near Pincher Creek. Approximately 50 km (31 mi) east of Pincher Creek, the highway becomes divided and interchanges with Highway 2 with which it is briefly concurrent, assuming the designation of the Red Coat Trail and CANAMEX Corridor. It proceeds for 5 km (3 mi) into the town of Fort Macleod, after which Highway 2 splits south to Cardston and the United States border. Highway 3 then crosses the Oldman River east of Fort Macleod near Monarch, prior to a partial interchange with Highway 23.[1]

After Coalhurst, the highway reaches Westview Drive W, which provides access to West Lethbridge. It then becomes a freeway named Crowsnest Trail as it reaches Highway 25 which branches north to Picture Butte while University Drive runs south to the University of Lethbridge as the main thoroughfare through West Lethbridge. Highway 3 again crosses the Oldman River in central Lethbridge and the freeway segment ends at Mayor Magrath Drive, marking the northern terminus of Highway 5. The highway meets the northern end of Highway  4 at the eastern limit of Lethbridge before continuing east to Coaldale and Taber.[1] Within Taber, Highway 36 runs concurrently with Highway 3 for 3 km (2 mi). The highway reduces to a two-lane undivided road and the Crowsnest Highway ends 113 km (70 mi) later at the Trans-Canada Highway in Medicine Hat.

Future[edit]

Alberta Transportation has long-term plans to upgrade the entire Highway 3 corridor to a freeway from the British Columbia border to Medicine Hat.[5][6] The plans include the construction of a Lethbridge bypass to render the CANAMEX Corridor free-flowing through southern Alberta, in combination with proposed bypasses of Fort Macleod, Claresholm and Nanton.[3][7] The route would split from Highway 3 west of Coalhurst and run east, bypassing Lethbridge and Coaldale to the north before rejoining the existing highway.[7]

Major intersections[edit]

British Columbia[edit]

The following is a list of major intersections along British Columbia Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway).[8][9]

Regional district Location km[10] mi Exit Destinations Notes
Continues as BC 1 west (Trans-Canada Highway) to Vancouver
Fraser Valley Hope 0.00 0.00 170 BC 1 east (Water Avenue) – Cache Creek, Kamloops, Prince George Hope interchange
No westbound exit
West end of BC 5 concurrency.
0.99 0.62 171 To BC 1 east (3 Avenue) Westbound exit only
3.08 1.91 173 Old Hope-Princeton Way Thacker Creek interchange
No westbound entrance
6.67 4.14 177 YellowheadShield.jpg BC 5 north (Coquihalla Highway) – Merritt, Kelowna, Kamloops Othello interchange
East end of BC 5 concurrency.
British Columbia Highway 3.svg BC 3 east to exits freeway using Exit 177.
E. C. Manning Provincial Park 25.04 15.56 West end of E. C. Manning Provincial Park (Manning Park).
↑ / ↓ 58.02 36.05 Allison Pass – el. 1,342 m (4,403 ft)
Okanagan-Similkameen 83.00 51.57 East end of E. C. Manning Provincial Park (Manning Park).
99.77 61.99 Sunday Summit – el. 1,284 m (4,213 ft)
Princeton 133.56 82.99 Vermillion Avenue, Burton Avenue
133.93 83.22 BC 5A north (Bridge Street) – Merritt, Kamloops
Keremeos 200.62 124.66 7 Avenue, 7 Street BC 3 branches north.
201.11 124.96 BC 3A north – Apex Mountain Resort, Penticton BC 3 branches east.
225.63 140.20 Nighthawk Road – Nighthawk (WA)
Osoyoos 247.11 153.55 BC 97 (Okanagan Highway) to US 97 south – Penticton, Kelowna, U.S. Border, Wenatchee (WA)
248.23 154.24 Main Street, Spartan Drive, 83 Street BC 3 branches south, then turns east.
248.80 154.60 Osoyoos Trestle Bridge across Osoyoos Lake
Kootenay Boundary Rock Creek 299.12 185.86 BC 33 north (Beaverdell Highway) – Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna
Midway 318.26 197.76 Florence Street
Greenwood 331.44 205.95 Greenwood Street
368.53 228.99 BC 41 south to SR 21 south – U.S. Border
Grand Forks 372.32 231.35 19 Street
372.97 231.75 Boundary Drive
373.97 232.37 5 Street
374.16 232.49 2 Street
392.10 243.64 BC 395 south to US 395 south – U.S. Border, Spokane (WA)
Christina Lake 394.55 245.16 West Lake Drive, Swanson Road
406.39 252.52 Bonanza Pass – el. 1,535 m (5,036 ft)
Nancy Greene Provincial Park 441.53 274.35 BC 3B east – Rossland, Trail
Central Kootenay Castlegar 467.95 290.77 BC 22 south / Columbia Avenue – Rossland, Trail Kinnaird interchange
468.15 290.89 20 Street, 6 Avenue to BC 22 Westbound only
468.78 291.29 Crosses Columbia River
469.21 291.55 BC 3A east – West Kootenay Regional Airport, Nelson Ootischenia interchange
495.67 308.00 BC 3B east – Trail, Rossland
Salmo 506.07 314.46 BC 6 north – Nelson, Nakusp, Vernon West end of BC 6 concurrency
520.23 323.26 BC 6 south to SR 31 – U.S. Border East end of BC 6 concurrency.
543.27 337.57 Kootenay Pass – el. 1,774 m (5,820 ft)
582.34 361.85 Crosses Kootenay River
Creston 585.08 363.55 BC 21 south to SH-1 – U.S. Border
586.50 364.43 BC 3A north – Kootenay Bay, Kootenay Lake Ferry, Nelson BC 3 branches south.
589.30 366.17 10 Avenue N, Cook Street BC 3 turns east.
589.80 366.48 16 Avenue
Yahk 626.59 389.34 BC 95 south to US 95 – U.S. Border, Coeur d'Alene (ID) West end of BC 95 concurrency
East Kootenay Cranbrook 695.07 431.90 King Street, 9 Avenue S
695.89 432.41 6 Street N
696.80 432.97 Victoria Avenue, Theatre Road
697.46 433.38 Willowbrook Drive
698.05 433.75 22 Street N
698.91 434.28 BC 95A north – Canadian Rockies Int. Airport, Kimberley Cranbrook interchange
704.34 437.66 BC 93 / BC 95 north – Fort Steele, Invermere, Radium Hot Springs Fort Steele interchange; east end of BC 95 concurrency; west end of BC 93 concurrency
730.34 453.81 Wardner Bridge across Kootenay River
Elko 760.08 472.29 BC 93 south to US 93 – U.S. Border, Kalispell (MT) West end of BC 93 concurrency.
788.75 490.11 Mount Fernie Park Road – Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie 791.20 491.63 4 Street
791.54 491.84 7 Street
792.20 492.25 13 Street
792.71 492.57 9 Avenue
Sparwood 821.32 510.34 Red Cedar Drive
821.89 510.70 BC 43 north (Elk Valley Highway) – Elkford
841.29 522.75 Alberta – British Columbia border
Crowsnest Pass – el. 1,358 m (4,455 ft)
Continues as Alberta Highway 3 east
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Alberta[edit]

The following is a list of major intersections along Alberta Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway) from west to east.[3][11]

Rural/specialized municipality Location km mi Destinations Notes
Continues as British Columbia Highway 3 west
Municipality of
Crowsnest Pass
0 0.0 Alberta – British Columbia border
Crowsnest Pass – el. 1,358 m (4,455 ft)
Coleman 16 9.9 Hwy 40 north (Forestry Trunk Road)
Blairmore 18 11 20 Avenue east
21 13 20 Avenue west
Frank 24 15 153 Street Passes Frank Slide
Bellevue 26 16 9 Avenue / 213 Street Access to Hillcrest
30 19 East Hillcrest Drive Access to Hillcrest
M. D. of Pincher Creek No. 9 Burmis 35 22 Hwy 507 south – Beaver Mines
40 25 Hwy 3A east
42 26 Hwy 22 north – Longview, Black Diamond, Turner Valley
Lundbreck 44 27 Breckenridge Avenue
48 30 Hwy 3A west
Cowley 52 32 Hwy 510 north
Pincher Station 62 39 Hwy 6 south / 3rd Avenue – Pincher Creek, Waterton Park, U.S. Border
65 40 Hwy 785
Piikani I.R. 147 Brocket 77 48 Hwy 786 south
M. D. of Willow Creek No. 26 104 65 Hwy 810 south – Glenwood
105 65 Divided highway begins
Fort Macleod 106 66 Hwy 2 north (Exit 89) – Calgary Western end of Hwy 2 concurrency
108 67 One-way road pair begins
109 68 Hwy 811 north (6 Avenue)
110 68 One-way road pair ends
111 69 Hwy 2 south – Cardston, U.S. Border RedCoatTrail.png Red Coat Trail concurrency begins
Eastern end of Hwy 2 concurrency
132 82 Hwy 3A east to Hwy 23 north – Monarch, Vulcan Eastbound access to Hwy 23.
↑ / ↓ 134 83 Crosses Oldman River
Lethbridge County 138 86 Hwy 3A west / Hwy 23 north – Monarch, Vulcan Partial interchange
Westbound exit, eastbound entrance
Kipp 146 91 Hwy 509 south / UAR 205 north – Stand Off
Coalhurst 148 92 51 Avenue Coalhurst access road
Freeway begins
City of Lethbridge 151 94 Westside Drive W Partial interchange; Eastbound exit, westbound entrance
Unsigned Hwy 3A
153.1 95.1 Hwy 25 north / University Drive W south – West Lethbridge, Picture Butte Interchange
155.0 96.3 Bridge Drive W (Former Hwy 3A west) Interchange
155.4 96.6 Crosses Oldman River
155.6 96.7 Access road to Oldman River valley
156.1 97.0 5 Avenue N (to Scenic Drive) Eastbound exit, westbound entrance
156.3 97.1 1 Avenue S to Hwy 4 / Hwy 5 – City Centre Eastbound exit only
156.8 97.4 Scenic Drive Westbound exit, eastbound entrance
157.7 98.0 Stafford Drive
158.5 98.5 13 Street Westbound to northbound exit only
159.2 98.9 19 Street (to 3 Avenue S) Eastbound exit/entrance
159.4 99.0 Mayor Magrath Drive (Hwy 5 south) – Lethbridge Airport, Cardston
Freeway ends
161.4 100.3 1 Avenue S to Hwy 4 south / Hwy 512 east Eastbound exit only
161.8 100.5 43 Street (Hwy 4) to I‑15 south / Hwy 843 north – Coutts, U.S. Border, Great Falls (MT) RedCoatTrail.png Red Coat Trail and CANAMEX Corridor concurrencies follow Hwy 4 south
Lethbridge County Coaldale 173 107 Hwy 845 (20 Street) – Lomond, Raymond
M. D. of Taber 198 123 Hwy 3A east – Barnwell
Barnwell 200 120 Heritage Road
202 126 Hwy 3A west – Barnwell
Taber 207 129 Hwy 864 north (Park Road) – Vauxhall
208 129 Hwy 36 south – Warner Hwy 36 concurrency begins.
210 130 Hwy 36 north (64 Street) – Vauxhall, Brooks Hwy 36 concurrency ends.
211 131 Divided highway ends
Grassy Lake 242 150 Hwy 877 south – Skiff
County of Forty Mile No. 8 Burdett 254 158 Main Street Passes through Burdett
260 160 Hwy 879 – Foremost
Bow Island 266 165 Centre Street Passes through Bow Island
285 177 Hwy 885 south – Etzikom
Cypress County Seven Persons 301 187 Hwy 887 south – Orion
City of Medicine Hat 321 199 Hwy 523 west (Holsom Road SW)
322 200 Viscount Avenue SW – Medicine Hat Airport
323 201 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Calgary, Swift Current, Regina
Hwy 41A east (Gershaw Drive SW) – Downtown Medicine Hat
Interchange; Hwy 3 ends.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Google (October 31, 2016). "Crownest Highway in Alberta" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ "National Highway System". Transport Canada. December 13, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Provincial Highways 1 - 216 Progress Chart" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. March 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Google (October 31, 2016). "Crownest Highway in British Columbia" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Highways 1 & 3 Network Functional Planning Study - Future Realignment - City of Medicine Hat - Executive Summary" (PDF). Stantec. Alberta Transportation. November 20, 2008. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2017. ...Alberta Transportation strives for a higher standard of roadway, and therefore seeks to protect the future Highways 1 and 3 for a 130 km/h design speed (110 km/h posted speed). 
  6. ^ "Highway 3:14 Functional Planning Study - West of Burdett to West of Seven Persons" (PDF). ISL Engineering and Land Services. Alberta Transportation. June 2013. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2017. In the mid-2000s, Alberta Transportation (AT) identified the entirety of Highway 3 as part of the newly-designated freeway system. 
  7. ^ a b "Highways 3 & 4 - Lethbridge and Area NHS & NTSC Functional Planning Study - Final Report" (PDF). Stantec Consulting Ltd. Alberta Transportation. February 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ Super, Natural British Columbia Road Map & Parks Guide (Map) (2010-2011 ed). Davenport Maps Ltd. in co-operation with Tourism British Columbia. § L-9, § L-10, § L-11, and § L-12.
  9. ^ British Columbia Road Atlas (2007 ed.). Oshawa, ON: MapArt Publishing Corp. pp. 69-75.
  10. ^ Nicol, Matthew; Horel, Steve (July 2015). "Landmark Kilometre Inventory" (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Cypher Consulting. pp. 74–113. 
  11. ^ Alberta Official Road Map (Map) (2010 ed.). Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. § N-5, N–6, N-7, N–8. 

External links[edit]