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400-series highways (British Columbia)

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400-series highways

Highway 401 marker

Highway 499 marker

Highway markers for Highway 401 and Highway 499
System information
Maintained by B.C. Department of Highways
Length517 km (321 mi)
NotesDecommissioned in 1973.
Highway names
ProvincialBritish Columbia Highway 4XX
System links

The 400-series highways were a pair of controlled-access highways located in the southwestern portion of the Canadian province of British Columbia, forming a special subset of the provincial highway system. Modelled after the 400-Series Highways in Ontario, 400-series designations were introduced in 1964 in conjunction with the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway freeway between Vancouver and Clearbrook (present-day Abbotsford);[1] however, unlike their Ontario counterparts, both routes had signalized sections. The 400-series system never expanded beyond two freeways, and in 1973 Highways 401 and 499 were renumbered 1 and 99 respectively, while the former routes were assigned the 'A' suffix.

Highway 401

Highway 401
Length122 km (76 mi)
West end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 99 in West Vancouver
Hwy 7A in Vancouver
Hwy 7 in Coquitlam
Hwy 15 in Surrey
Hwy 10 in Langley
Hwy 11 in Abbotsford
East end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 9 near Rosedale

Highway 1 originally followed portions of Old Yale Road and Fraser Highway from Rosedale to Highway 99 (King George Highway) in Surrey, where the two routes shared a common alignment across the Pattullo Bridge and followed a series of streets including Kingsway and Main Street into downtown Vancouver. In 1959, Highway 1 was extended to Horseshoe Bay via the Lions Gate Bridge and Taylor Way in West Vancouver.

Major freeway construction commenced in the late 1950s, with the Second Narrows Bridge over Burrard Inlet opening in 1960 in conjunction with Upper Levels Highway opening through North Vancouver; however, it was an expressway had a mix of interchanges and signalized intersections. In 1962, Highway 1 was re-routed to a new expressway. The original Port Mann Bridge opened in 1964 in conjunction with a new highway between Vancouver and Clearbrook and was designated as Highway 401;[1] the Clearbrook-Rosedale section of Highway 1 was restored to its original alignment and the expressway became part of Highway 401.

The Trans-Canada Highway was designated along the newly constructed Highway 401, while Highway 1 between Rosedale and West Vancouver was signed as British Columbia Highway 1 and had a regular provincial highway shield. Highway 401 was a freeway for the majority of its length with exception of some traffic signals along the Upper Levels Highway and small section in Vancouver where it followed Cassiar Street (the sections were replaced by interchanges in the 1990s). Highway 401 was renumbered to Highway 1 in 1973, with former sections of Highway 1 becoming Highway 1A.

Highway 499

Highway 99B
Length30 km (19 mi)
South end Hwy 10 in Delta
North end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 99 in Vancouver
Highway 499
Length49 km (30 mi)
South end I-5 at Canada–U.S. border
Hwy 99 in Surrey
Hwy 10 in Delta
Hwy 17 in Delta
North end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 99 in Vancouver

Highway 99 originally followed the King George Highway from the U.S. border to Highway 1 (Fraser Highway) in Surrey, where the two routes shared a common alignment across the Pattullo Bridge and followed before following a series of streets including Kingsway and Main Street into downtown Vancouver. The 1950s saw a series of Highway improvements connecting Vancouver and Richmond, with the completion of the Oak Street Bridge was built in 1957 across the North Arm Fraser River, and the completion of the Deas Island Tunnel in 1959 across the Fraser River (renamed the George Massey Tunnel in 1967). As part of the project, an expressway was constructed connecting the Deas Island Tunnel to Highway 10 – the route connecting downtown Vancouver to Highway 10 was designated as Highway 99B.[2]

In 1962, the freeway was extended to 8th Avenue in Surrey and the route (including Highway 99B) was re-designated as Highway 99. In 1964, Highway 99 was moved back to its former alignment and the freeway was designated as Highway 499, which also followed Oak Street and Granville Street into downtown Vancouver where it linked with Highway 1 and Highway 99. Highway 499 was renumbered to Highway 99 in 1973, with former sections of Highway 99 becoming Highway 99A.

See also


  1. ^ a b Frontier to Freeway: A short illustrated history of the roads in British Columbia (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways. 2000. pp. 16–19.
  2. ^ "Postcard: Deas Island Tunnel, 1959". Flickr. September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2018. Deas Island Tunnel conveying traffic from Richmond to Delta, BC under the Fraser River. Constructed from March 1957 to May 23, 1959. Opened officially on July 15, 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II who was on a royal tour of Canada with Prince Philip. The tunnel was renamed the George Massey Tunnel in 1967 after the late Nehamiah "George" Massey, former British Columbia MLA for Delta, BC (1956-60). This 4-lane highway, which ran from downtown Vancouver to Hwy. 10 in Delta, was originally designated as Highway 99B. After the completion of the Deas (Island) Throughway through Delta to the U.S. border in 1962, it became Hwy. 99. From 1964 to 1973, the route was called the '499' Freeway; Since 1974, Hwy. 99.
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400-series highways (British Columbia)
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