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British Columbia Highway 17

Highway 17 marker

Highway 17

Patricia Bay Highway (Vancouver Island section)
South Fraser Perimeter Road (Mainland section)
Map
Highway 17 highlighted in red, bottom left shows Highway 17 on Vancouver Island.
Route information
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Length121 km[1][2] (75 mi)
Existed1960–present
Vancouver Island section
Length33 km (21 mi)
South end Victoria Harbour ferry terminal
Major intersections Hwy 1 (TCH) in Victoria
North end Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal
Mainland section
Length44 km (27 mi)
West end Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
Major intersections Hwy 17A in Delta
Hwy 99 in Delta
Hwy 91 in Delta (via Hwy 91C)
East end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 15 in Surrey
Location
CountryCanada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtsCapital, Metro Vancouver
Major citiesVictoria, Delta, Surrey
Highway system
Hwy 16 Hwy 17A

Highway 17 is a provincial highway in British Columbia, Canada. It comprises two separate sections connected by a ferry link. The Vancouver Island section is known as the Patricia Bay Highway and connects Victoria to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal in North Saanich. The Lower Mainland section is known as the South Fraser Perimeter Road and connects the Tsawwassen ferry terminal to Delta and Surrey, terminating at an interchange with Highway 1 in the Fraser Valley.

Route description

Vancouver Island section

The Island section of Highway 17 is known as the Patricia Bay Highway (locally abbreviated as the Pat Bay Highway) after nearby Patricia Bay, and is the main artery through the Saanich Peninsula, mostly travelling along its eastern coast. The highway is four lanes all the way from Victoria to Swartz Bay. The total length of the highway on the Island is 32 kilometres (20 mi). Highway 17 has had its present course through the area since 1978 when the Blanshard extension was completed.[3]

In the south, Highway 17 begins at the intersection of Belleville and Oswego streets,[4] at the entrance to the Victoria Harbour ferry terminal, which provides a ferry connection to Port Angeles, Washington. It travels east for 600 m (0.37 mi), past the grounds of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, to Douglas Street where it intersects the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1). It travels another 180 m (0.11 mi) east, where the highway turns north as Blanshard Street (a six lane divided city street) for 3 km (1.9 mi) through the city of Victoria before leaving the city at Tolmie Avenue and for another 2 km (1.2 mi) north through the district of Saanich to the Uptown Shopping Centre; Highway 17 then becomes the Pat Bay Highway and turns into a 6 km (3.7 mi)-long freeway, with three interchanges. After the third interchange at Royal Oak Drive, Highway 17 turns into a 14 km (8.7 mi) mix of divided four-lane arterial and expressway including an interchange at McTavish Road, until it reaches the town of Sidney. After exiting Sidney 3 km (1.9 mi) later, the Pat Bay once again becomes a freeway, with two more interchanges along its length, toward its northern terminus at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal another 3 km (1.9 mi) north.

Ferry route

At Swartz Bay, Highway 17 leaves Vancouver Island, and starts on a 44 km (24 nmi)-long ferry route through the Southern Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia. The ferry route between Swartz Bay and the Mainland is the oldest and most heavily used route in the B.C. Ferries system. After winding through the Gulf Islands, the route enters a small passage between Galiano and Mayne Islands, known as Active Pass. Active Pass is the midway point on the Highway 17 ferry route, but it is also the most hazardous part, as it has strong tidal currents, and has historically been the site of two maritime collisions involving BC Ferries vessels, as well as one incident of a ferry running aground. Consequently, ferries going through Active Pass have to sound their whistles upon entering and leaving the passage, and must adhere to a lower speed limit while transiting through it.

After Active Pass, the Highway 17 ferry heads due northeast across the Strait of Georgia. Halfway across the Strait, the route begins transiting United States waters for just under 9 km (5 nmi). It then crosses the 49th parallel back into Canadian waters just before landing at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

Mainland section

Highway 17 looking South near Port Mann (Surrey) British Columbia. New and old Port Mann Bridge in background.

On the Mainland, Highway 17 is known as the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR), a component of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation's Gateway Program. It is a four-lane highway with a mix of freeway and expressway sections. The highway has a speed limit of 80 km/h (50 mph) over most of its length, connecting the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Highway 99 in Delta to Highway 1 at 176th Street in Surrey, and providing access to all five of the major Fraser River crossings in Metro Vancouver.[5] The mainland section is notable for its extensive use of noise walls, split level construction through Delta and use in some urban sections of so-called Quiet Pavement to reduce traffic noise.[6]

The South Fraser Perimeter Road is 44 kilometres (27 mi) long. Beginning at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, it heads northeast on a 1.8-kilometre (1.1 mi) long causeway to land on the Tsawwassen Peninsula, then continues northeast for 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to an interchange with Highway 17A. It then follows the CN Railway's Deltaport chord and 72nd Street northeast for 6.2 kilometres (3.9 mi) to an interchange with Highway 99. The road then runs through the west side of Burns Bog, but avoiding the conservation area, and past the south side of the Tilbury and Sunbury industrial areas for 9.7 kilometres (6.0 mi) before it reaches the Fraser River at an interchange connecting to Highway 91 via Highway 91 Connector. It then proceeds east along the south bank of the Fraser River through North Delta and Surrey, passing under the Alex Fraser, Pattullo and Port Mann bridges, before turning southeast at Surrey Bend Regional Park to terminate at its junction with Highway 1 and Highway 15, 21 kilometres (13 mi) from Highway 91 Connector.

History

Vancouver Island Section

Prior to 1978, the southern terminus of Highway 17 was at the present-day intersection of Highway 1 (Douglas Street) and Carey Road. In 1978, the highway was extended and aligned along Blanshard Street through Downtown Victoria to the Inner Harbour in an effort to improve traffic flow.[7]

South Fraser Perimeter Road

Route 17 once followed what is now Route 17A and terminated at the Highway 99 interchange before the George Massey Tunnel. The provincial government proposed to build a new expressway, the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR), linking the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with the Trans-Canada Highway. According to the Ministry of Transportation, the South Fraser Perimeter Road will improve the movement of goods and people across the region while also alleviating truck traffic on municipal roads. West–east travel times across the region will also be significantly reduced.[8]

The South Fraser Perimeter Road project was opposed by a number of groups, citing a variety of concerns. The SFPR alignment does not go through the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area.[9] However, the Burns Bog Conservation Society has stated they are concerned that it will affect surrounding hydrology, and have an adverse effect on the Conservancy Area.[10]

The Burns Bog Conservation Society expressed concerns that the South Fraser Perimeter Road would endanger Burns Bog.[11] In response to the mitigation measures proposed the Environmental Stewardship Branch of Environment Canada wrote that "... the changes are not sufficient to alleviate its concerns related to the impacts of the Project on Pacific Water Shrew (PWS), hydrology, aerial deposition, and ecological integrity of Burns Bog."[12] On November 24, 2010 the Burns Bog Conservation Society launched a lawsuit intend to force the re-routing or cancellation of the SFPR project.[13] Burns Bog has been listed as threatened by the International Mire Conservation Group because of the impacts of the SFPR.[14]

The Wilderness Committee and other groups have criticized the SFPR, and the Gateway Program in general, for increasing greenhouse gas emissions.[15] In early 2011, a protest camp organized by StopThePave.org and the Council of Canadians occupied a SFPR construction site for almost two weeks.[16]

The SFPR Project worked with the Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel to develop systems, which helped improve the existing drainage / hydrology of the bog.

A 10-kilometre-long (6.2 mi) portion from 136 Street in Surrey to a junction with Highway 15 and Highway 1 was the first portion of the SFPR to be completed, opening on December 1, 2012. The remaining western segment of the road was completed on December 21, 2013.[17] The former Mainland portion of Highway 17 north of the 28th Avenue overpass has been renamed to Highway 17A through Ladner.[6] The total cost of building the SFPR was $1.26 billion.[18]

On March 10, 2017, an announcement was made to address congestion at Highway 17 (Delta): an extension of westbound slip lane from Tilbury Connector (80th Avenue) intersection, replacement of the traffic light-controlled Highway 91 Connector with an interchange, and construction of a new interchange at River Road. This would make the road a freeway all the way to Tannery Road. Funding will come from the Canadian government, the BC Government, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and the Tsawwassen First Nation; the total cost is expected to be just over $245 million.[19] Construction started in spring 2020 and the new River Road interchange opened on December 3, 2021.[20] The new Highway 91 Connector interchange reached completion in November 2022.[21][22]

Future

On Vancouver Island, there have been numerous studies to upgrade the Island portion of Highway 17 to freeway standard. This seems to be edging closer with the BC Government's issuing of the Highway 17 Corridor Planning Strategy. This study envisions interchanges at Haliburton, Sayward, Keating Cross Road and/or Island View, Mt Newton Cross Road, McTavish Road (Complete April 9, 2011) and Beacon Avenue in Sidney. Construction of a flyover ramp from northbound Highway 17 to Keating Cross Road commenced in June 2023.[23]

As part of the Pattullo Bridge replacement project, the initial plan included a new interchange to provide direct connections to and from Highway 17 to the bridge as well as an extension of Scott Road north of King George Boulevard to directly connect with Highway 17 to divert traffic from local streets in Surrey.[24] However, the project was down-scaled as the study showed Highway 17 cannot handle increased traffic from induced demand and the significant traffic delay would be expected on the provincial road network.[25] Under the final proposal tendered in 2020, the only direct connection from the Pattullo Bridge would be from eastbound Pattullo Bridge to westbound, while Highway 17 and Old Yale Road intersection will be closed and grade-separated.[26]

Major intersections

Regional DistrictLocationkm[1][2]miExitDestinationsNotes
CapitalVictoria0.000.00 Oswego Street / Belleville Street – Ferry TerminalSouthern terminus; Belleville Street continues west; Black Ball Ferries to Port Angeles; Victoria Clipper passenger ferry to Seattle
0.600.37 Douglas Street (Hwy 1 (TCH)) – NanaimoAt-grade, traffic signals
1.300.81Blanshard StreetHwy 17 turns north onto Blanshard Street
1.600.99Johnson StreetAt-grade, traffic signals; one-way eastbound
1.701.06Pandora AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals; one-way westbound; access to Johnson Street Bridge
4.002.49Tolmie AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals
North end of City of Victoria jurisdiction
Saanich4.863.02South end of one-way pair; northbound becomes Vernon Avenue, southbound remains Blanshard Street
4.913.05Saanich RoadAt-grade, traffic signals
5.623.49 Hwy 17 south (Blanshard Street) – City CentreAt-grade, traffic signals; northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of one-way pair; becomes Patricia Bay Highway
6.564.087 McKenzie Avenue to Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 14 – Nanaimo, SookeInterchange
8.065.018Vanalman AvenueSouthbound right-in/right-out
8.735.429Quadra Street east, West Saanich RoadInterchange; no southbound access to westbound West Saanich Road
10.126.2911Royal Oak Drive – Brentwood BayInterchange; former Hwy 17A north
11.857.36Elk Lake Drive, Haliburton RoadAt-grade, traffic signals; unsigned exit 13
14.499.0015Sayward Road – Cordova BayAt-grade, traffic signals
Central Saanich17.5210.8918 Keating Cross Road – Brentwood Bay, Mill BayAt-grade, northbound exit and southbound entrance only; to Butchart Gardens. Will be replaced with flyover by 2025.
18.4711.4819Island View RoadAt-grade, traffic signals; southbound access to Keating Cross Road.
20.9613.0221Mt. Newton Cross Road – Saanichton, Brentwood BayAt-grade, traffic signals
North Saanich25.2515.6926 McTavish Road – Airport, USA ferriesInterchange; Washington State Ferries to San Juan Islands and Anacortes
Sidney27.4417.0528Beacon AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals
North Saanich30.9019.2031McDonald Park Road, Wain Road – Deep CoveInterchange; former Hwy 17A south
32.2620.0533Lands End RoadInterchange; northbound exit, southbound entrance
32.5420.22 Swartz Bay Ferry TerminalNorthern end of Vancouver Island section
Strait of GeorgiaBC Ferries
Metro VancouverDelta0.000.00 Tsawwassen Ferry TerminalWestern end of Mainland section
2.731.70Tsawwassen DriveAt-grade, traffic signals
3.382.10Salish Sea DriveAt-grade, traffic signals
4.312.6852 StreetAt-grade, traffic signals
5.323.3156 Street – Tsawwassen, Point RobertsAt-grade, traffic signals
6.864.267 Hwy 17A north – LadnerEastbound exit; westbound entrance
7.604.728Deltaport Way – Roberts BankWestbound exit; eastbound entrance
13.098.1313 Hwy 99 – Airport (YVR), Vancouver, USA Border, SeattleInterchange, Hwy 99 exit 26; no direct access from Hwy 17 west to Hwy 99 south
19.3011.9980th Street (via Tilbury Connector)At-grade, traffic signals
23B Hwy 91C to Hwy 91 – North Delta, Richmond, Airport, VancouverFree-flow interchange to Hwy 91C and Alex Fraser Bridge;[27] Hwy 91 exit 8
22.7514.1496 StreetReplaced by exit 23A; former at-grade, traffic signals
22.9614.2723ARiver Road WestInterchange; no eastbound exit from Hwy 17[28][29]
24.0114.92Passes under the Alex Fraser Bridge
Surrey27.2116.91Elevator RoadClosed;[30] Former westbound right-in/right-out
29.21–
29.69
18.15–
18.45
31Tannery Road – Surrey Port, New WestminsterInterchange; to Pattullo Bridge; eastbound exit ramp includes direct right-in/right-out ramps to/from 103A Avenue;
30.4318.91Old Yale RoadAt-grade, traffic signals; intersection closing by 2023 after grade-separation[26]
Pattullo Bridge (Under Construction)Interchange; westbound entrance from eastbound Patullo Bridge; expected completion by 2023[26]
30.9519.23Passes under the Pattullo Bridge
31.6919.6933124 StreetEastbound right-in/right-out
32.9920.50Bridgeview Drive to King George Boulevard – Surrey City Centre, New WestminsterAt-grade, traffic signals; to Pattullo Bridge
34.2021.25136th StreetAt-grade, traffic signals
36.7322.82Passes under the Port Mann Bridge
North Surrey Truck Parking Facility (Under Construction)At-grade, seagull intersection; traffic signals for westbound traffic; to North Surrey Truck Parking Facility[31]
42.8926.65Golden Ears Connector, 104 AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals, access to Golden Ears Way
44.1427.43 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Hope, Vancouver
Hwy 15 south (176th Street) – USA border
Interchange, eastern terminus; Hwy 1 exit 53; road continues as Hwy 15 south
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ a b Google (March 17, 2017). "Hwy 17 in Victoria" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 272–281. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 11, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Mindenhall, Dorothy (2012). Unbuilt Victoria. Toronto, ON: Dundurn. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-4597-0176-2.
  4. ^ "Official Numbered Routes in British Columbia - Highway 17". Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  5. ^ "Gatewayprogram.bc.ca". Gatewayprogram.bc.ca. Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Sinoski, Kelly (November 30, 2012). "First 10 kilometres of new Highway 17 opens Dec. 1". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "TH.tranbc.ca". Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "TH.gov.bc.ca". TH.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "TH.gov.bc.ca" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  10. ^ Burnsbog.org Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Burns Bog Conservation Society " Resources " Sustainable Development Strategy
  11. ^ "Submission to Environmental Assessment Office". Burns Bog Conservation Society. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  12. ^ Burnsbog.org
  13. ^ Burns Bog Conservation Society. "LAWSUIT LAUNCHED OVER ROAD CONSTRUCTION ON BURNS BOG" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  14. ^ International Mire Conservation Group. "Threatened Peatlands". Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  15. ^ Wilderness Committee. "Gateway to Global Warming". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  16. ^ Dawn, Paley (May 5, 2011). "Camp Closed, But Resistance Continues". Vancouver Media Co-op. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  17. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road, B.C.'s newest highway opens". Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on December 23, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  18. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road completed, officially opens today". Canada Newswire. December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  19. ^ "Major upgrades announced for Highways 91 and 17". NEWS 1130. March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  20. ^ Highway 17 and River Road interchange opens to traffic
  21. ^ "Highway 91/17 Upgrade Project". Province of British Columbia.
  22. ^ "Highway 91/17 upgrades near completion". BC Gov News. Delta, B.C. December 19, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  23. ^ "Highway 17 Keating Cross Overpass Project". BC Ministry of Transportation. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  24. ^ "Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project Community Connections Phase 2 Consultation – Appendix 3: Open House Display Boards" (PDF). Government of British Columbia. November 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 29, 2024. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  25. ^ Saltman, Jennifer (March 13, 2018). "Province scaling back Surrey road connections to new Pattullo Bridge". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  26. ^ a b c "Spring 2020 Project Overview" (PDF). Pattullo Bridge Replacement. Government of British Columbia. May 2020. pp. 9–10. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 26, 2022. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  27. ^ "Hwy 91/17 and Deltaport Way - Construction and Traffic Updates". Province of British Columbia. May 28, 2022.
  28. ^ Highway 17 and River Road interchange opens to traffic
  29. ^ HIGHWAY 91 / 17 UPGRADE CONCEPT
  30. ^ "Closure of Elevator Road" (PDF). Port Metro Vancouver. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  31. ^ "North Surrey truck parking facility construction moving ahead". BC Gov News. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. August 4, 2020.
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British Columbia Highway 17
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