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British Columbia Highway 15

Highway 15 marker

State Route 543 marker

Highway 15 and State Route 543

Pacific Highway
176th Street
Map
Highways 15 and 543 highlighted in red.
Route information
Maintained by B.C. MoT and WSDOT
Length21.77 km (13.53 mi)
HistoryBC: 1913 – present
WA: 1919 – present[1]
Washington State Route 543
Length1.75 km[2] (1.09 mi)
South end I-5 in Blaine, Washington
North endCanada–US border
British Columbia Highway 15
Length20.02 km[3] (12.44 mi)
South endCanada–US border
Major intersections Hwy 10 in Surrey
Golden Ears Way in Surrey
North end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 17 in Surrey
Location
CountryCanada
Highway system
Hwy 14 Hwy 16
SR 542 SR 544

Highway 15 (BC 15), known locally as the Pacific Highway, is a 20.99-kilometre-long (13.04 mi) north–south highway primarily located in the City of Surrey, British Columbia. The southern terminus is with Interstate 5 (I-5) near Blaine, Washington, as State Route 543 (SR 543). SR 543 is a 1.75-kilometre-long (1.09 mi) connector between I-5 and the Canada–US border, linking with BC 15. Over 3,000 trucks per day pass through the border crossing along SR 543 and BC 15,[4] because the Peace Arch border crossing does not allow commercial trucks.

Route description

An overhead walkway is above several rows of cars waiting to cross the border
Canadian border control at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing

SR 543 is a short highway entirely within the city of Blaine, Washington, that connects I-5 with the Canada–United States border. It begins at an interchange with I-5 with access only from the south and travels north through an industrial area with three lanes—two that run northbound and one southbound.[5] The highway passes between Blaine High School and the former municipal airport with signalized intersections at Boblett and H streets. From here, SR 543 widens to five lanes and passes under an interchange with D Street with interior ramps providing access to a residential area and non-border areas.[6][7]

As it approaches Canadian customs at the 24-hour Pacific Highway Border Crossing, the highway splits into several paths. Northbound traffic from the D Street interchange is directed into a NEXUS lane for passenger vehicles, while two lanes are used for general traffic and access to duty free stores. A set of lanes curve east and are used for buses and trucks that qualify for pre-clearance under the Free and Secure Trade program.[6][8] Southbound traffic entering the United States is split into a general queue and a truck route with holding lanes.[6][citation needed] Border crossing times can become significantly delayed such as in the event of certain Seattle Mariners baseball games and summer holiday travel.[9] During the reconstruction of the Peace Arch border crossing, delays at the Pacific Highway crossing were similar to times seen right after the attacks of September 11.[10]

On the Canadian side of the border, the highway continues north as British Columbia Highway 15, which lies within the municipality of Surrey, British Columbia. It passes the residential neighborhood of Douglas and intersects 8 Avenue, which provides access to Highway 99 to the west. Highway 15 travels north as a divided highway through rural forestland and farmland in the Kensington Prairie, where it crosses the Nicomekl River. The highway enters the Cloverdale neighborhood and curves to the west as it crosses the Southern Railway of British Columbia and intersects Highway 10, an east–west route with connections to Newton and the city of Langley. Highway 15 travels around a commercial district and returns east to its original alignment on 176th Street as it passes Cloverdale's casino and fairgrounds.[6]

The highway leaves Cloverdale and intersects the Fraser Highway at a rural junction near a crossing of the Serpentine River. Highway 15 continues north to a junction with Golden Ears Way, which crosses the Fraser River to reach Pitt Meadows, and terminates at an interchange with Highway 1 (part of the Trans-Canada Highway). The interchange also marks the southern terminus of Highway 17, a divided highway that follows the southern bank of the Fraser River through industrial areas in Surrey and continues southwest towards Delta.[6][11]

History

British Columbia

The Pacific Highway was opened as a gravel road on July 12, 1913, and again on August 3, 1923, as a paved road.[12] The highway was rerouted in the mid-seventies around Cloverdale onto a bypass route which included a then new overhead. The overhead was named after a slain RCMP officer named Roger Pierlet and was opened on May 19, 1976.[13] In 1985 and 1986 the highway was widened to four lanes from the U.S. Border to 32 Ave.[14] From 2005 to 2008, the highway was widened to four lanes from 32 Avenue, through Cloverdale and to 92 Avenue. The project was a part of the Border Infrastructure Program, which sought to improve several highways around Metro Vancouver.[15] [16][17]

For a time between 1942[citation needed] and 1962, BC 15 was designated number 99A after the King George Highway (Hwy. 99 from 1942 to 1972, Hwy. 99A from 1973 to 2006) superseded it as the primary route to the Canada–US border.[18] In 2009, the city of Surrey renamed "King George Highway" to "King George Boulevard".[19]

On December 21, 2013, the C$1 billion South Fraser Perimeter Road opened as part of Highway 17, linking the northern terminus of BC 15 to Delta in the west.[20]

Washington

Prior to the current Washington route numbering system, this route was designated as Primary State Highway 1 Truck Route.[21] It ran east–west along D Street from US 99 to the Pacific Highway border crossing.[22] A 1.3-mile (2.1 km) expressway to serve the border crossing and connect it with I-5 was planned in the late 1960s to relocate truck traffic from city streets.[23] Construction of the new expressway was deferred in 1967 due to a federal cap on funds for highway projects.[24]

The relocation of SR 543 was approved by the Blaine city government in 1970 following negotiations with the state to add traffic signals.[25][26] The Great Northern Railway also proposed moving its tracks inland to the new truck route corridor, but those plans were shelved.[27][28] The new truck route opened on January 20, 1972, at a cost of $640,000.[29]

The Washington State Department of Transportation began reconstruction of SR 543 in May 2006 to expand the highway to five lanes between H Street and the border crossing. The existing truck lane was closed in October 2006 and was rebuilt to separate freight traffic from other vehicles accessing the border crossing and adjacent duty free store.[30][31] The truck lane reopened in December 2007 with access to a Free and Secure Trade lane for pre-approved commercial vehicles. The roadbed of SR 543 was lowered by 25 feet (7.6 m) to accommodate an overpass carrying D Street, which opened to traffic in November 2007. A full interchange at D Street opened on February 11, 2008, marking completion of the US$50.8 million project.[32][33]

Major intersections

State/ProvinceCounty/Regional DistrictLocationkm[2][3]miDestinationsNotes
WashingtonWhatcomBlaine0.000.00
I-5 south – Bellingham, Seattle
Northbound entrance, southbound exit; SR 543 southern terminus
1.320.82D Street – Blaine City CenterInterchange; northbound access for NEXUS passholders only
Pacific Highway Border Crossing1.75
0.00
1.09
0.00
Canada–United States border
SR 543 northern terminus • Hwy 15 southern terminus
British ColumbiaMetro VancouverSurrey1.530.95 8th Avenue (Hwy 914:3186 west) to Hwy 99 / I-5 – White Rock, Vancouver, Peace Arch Border CrossingHwy 914:3186 is unsigned
11.297.02 Hwy 10 (56th Avenue) – Delta, Langley
15.199.44 Fraser Highway (Hwy 1A west) – New Westminster, Langley City Centre
19.4512.09Golden Ears Way (Hwy 916 east) / 96th Avenue – Maple RidgeHwy 916 is unsigned
20.0212.44 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Vancouver, Hope
Hwy 17 south (South Fraser Perimeter Road) – Delta
Hwy 15 northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ Staff. "Forty Years with the Washington Department of Highways" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 30, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Strategic Planning and Programming Division (2007). State Highway Log: Planning Report (PDF) (Report). Washington State Department of Transportation. p. 1562. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 16, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 221–223. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 11, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Blake, Abbey (November 20, 2004). "Omnibus Spending Bill Includes 2nd District Priorities" (Press release). Office of Representative Rick Larsen. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  5. ^ "Corridor Sketch Summary – I-5 & SR 543: I-5/SR 543 Jct (Blaine) to Canadian Border" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. March 27, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e Google (November 30, 2022). "British Columbia Highway 15 and Washington State Route 543" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  7. ^ SR 543 lane configuration (Map). Washington State Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
  8. ^ "Directory of CBSA Offices and Services: Pacific Highway". Canada Border Services Agency. May 17, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  9. ^ "Expect delays when traveling across the border this weekend". CKWX-AM. August 13, 2009. Archived from the original on August 20, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
  10. ^ Bolt, Kristen Millares (March 9, 2007). "Wait at Canadian border going from bad to brutal". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
  11. ^ Highway Planning Section (May 28, 2008). "Official Numbered Routes in British Columbia". British Columbia Ministry of Transportation. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  12. ^ "Grandview Heights Heritage Study" (PDF). Donald Luxton & Associates. City of Surrey. May 2005. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  13. ^ "Bridge Opening Honours Mountie". The Province. Vancouver. May 20, 1976. p. 13. ProQuest 2380047866.
  14. ^ Ministry of Transportation and Highways. B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways Report 1985/86 (Report) (Report). Victoria: Province of British Columbia. p. 122.
  15. ^ "Highway 15 to be widened from Surrey to U.S. border" (Press release). Ministry of Transportation. February 19, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  16. ^ British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Highway 15 - Scope". Border Infrastructure Program. Government of British Columbia. Archived from the original on December 28, 2006. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  17. ^ British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Highway 15 Timeline" (PDF). Border Infrastructure Program. Government of British Columbia. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 28, 2006. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  18. ^ "Federal dike action awaited". The Province. August 11, 1962. p. 3. Retrieved December 2, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Lalonde, Vincent (November 12, 2009). "Corporate Report No: R207 – Street Name Changes" (PDF). City of Surrey Council. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  20. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road, B.C.'s newest highway, opens". British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. December 21, 2013. Archived from the original on December 23, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  21. ^ Prahl, C. G. (December 2, 1965). "Identification of State Highways" (PDF). Washington State Highway Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 30, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  22. ^ "Blaine Men Are Chosen to Join Planners Group". The Bellingham Herald. June 16, 1964. p. 7. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "The People of Interstate 5". Washington Highway News. Vol. 23, no. 1. Washington State Department of Highways. February 1972. p. 20. OCLC 29654162. Retrieved September 12, 2018 – via WSDOT Library Digital Collections.
  24. ^ "Local Highway Projects Delayed by Restrictions". The Bellingham Herald. January 13, 1967. p. A1. Retrieved February 18, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "Blaine Accepts Truck Route". The Bellingham Herald. August 18, 1970. p. 10. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "Blaine wants truck route lights first". The Bellingham Herald. January 18, 1972. p. 1. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ "G.N. Track Move May Help White Rock, But Blaine Sees Problems". The Bellingham Herald. April 23, 1969. p. 5. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "G.N. Says No Decision Yet on Tracks at Blaine". The Bellingham Herald. November 24, 1969. p. 4. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ "Blaine Truck Route opens". The Bellingham Herald. January 20, 1972. p. 1. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ "Truck crossing to close for widening". The Seattle Times. September 22, 2006. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  31. ^ Fraley, Zoe (September 24, 2006). "Pacific Highway truck lane to close". The Bellingham Herald. p. C1. Retrieved November 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ "SR 543 – I-5 to Canadian Border – Additional Lanes for Freight". Washington State Department of Transportation. July 2008. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  33. ^ "New SR 543 interchange ramps open Monday in Blaine" (Press release). Washington State Department of Transportation. February 8, 2008. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
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British Columbia Highway 15
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