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British Columbia Highway 8

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Highway 8 marker

Highway 8

Nicola Highway
Route information
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Length69 km[1] (43 mi)
Major junctions
West end Hwy 1 (TCH) in Spences Bridge
Major intersections Hwy 97C near Lower Nicola
East end Hwy 5 (YH) / Hwy 5A / Hwy 97C in Merritt
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Highway system
Hwy 7B Hwy 9

Highway 8, known as the Nicola Highway, is an alternate route to Highway 97C between Highway 1 and the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Highway 8 was first numbered in 1953, and very little about the highway changed between that year and 2021, when large segments of the highway were washed out by floods.[2]

Highway 8 follows the Nicola River for 69 km (43 mi) between Spences Bridge, on Highway 1, to Merritt on Highway 5.


Highway 8 is part of the first automobile route built to connect the Lower Mainland to the Alberta border.[3] Named the Southern Trans-Provincial Highway, it ran from Vancouver to Crowsnest Pass and was later designated as Route A; the route followed Kingsway and Yale Road from Vancouver to Hope, then turned north to Spences Bridge.[4] The route then turned southeast and passed through Merritt and Princeton along present-day Highway 8 and Highway 5A before travelling east along present-day Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3) towards Osoyoos, the Kootenays, and the Alberta border.[5] In 1941, British Columbia transitioned from lettered to numbered highways, with the Lower Mainland section of Route A becoming Highway 1 and the remainder becoming Highway 3. After the end of World War II, the provincial government began to upgrade its highway system and constructed new sections of its highways. On November 2, 1949, the Hope-Princeton Highway through Allison Pass and Sunday Summit was opened,[6] reducing the driving distance between Hope and Princeton from approximately 300 km (185 mi) to 135 km (85 mi).

When the Okanagan Connector was constructed between Merritt and Kelowna in the late 1980s, initial proposals had it designated as Highway 8; however, communities on the route preferred it designated as an auxiliary route of Highway 97 and was designated as Highway 97C.[7]

During the major floods in November 2021, large segments of the highway were washed out by the Nicola River.[2][8] Further washouts occurred during repairs in mid-2022.[9] On September 23, 2022, it was announced that highway had been reconnected for the first time since the washouts, enabling locals to use the highway.[10] The highway subsequently reopened to the general public on November 9, nearly a year after the washouts.[9][11]

Major intersections

For west to east. The entire route is in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Spences Bridge0.000.00 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Hope, Vancouver, Cache CreekHwy 8 western terminus
Lower Nicola60.3137.47 Hwy 97C north – Logan Lake, AshcroftWest end of Hwy 97C concurrency
Merritt65.1740.49Voght StreetFormer Hwy 5A north;
former west end of Hwy 5A concurrency
69.3243.07 Hwy 5 (YH) (Coquihalla Highway) to Hwy 5A north – Kamloops, Hope, Vancouver
Hwy 5A south / Hwy 97C east – Princeton, Kelowna
Coldwater interchange (Hwy 5 exit 286); Hwy 8 eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 202–206. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 11, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Sections of Highway 8 completely washed away by Nicola River". Williams Lake Tribune. November 17, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Schlingloff, Jeff (2006). "Route Historical Timeline". Trail - Road - Rail construction timeline. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Trans-Provincial Highway". Opposite the City. November 26, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Rand McNally and Company (1939). "Western and Central Canada" (Map). State Farm Road Atlas: United States, Canada, Mexico. Chicago, IL: State Farm Insurance Companies Travel Bureau. pp. 94–95 – via David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
  6. ^ "Opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway, November 2, 1949". RBCM Archives. Royal BC Museum. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Story of the Highway 97 Alphabet". TranBC | Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Government of British Columbia. August 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  8. ^ Serebrin, Jacob (November 18, 2021). "Could take weeks to begin repairing 'unprecedented' damage to B.C.'s road system, experts say". CBC News. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Staff Writer (November 9, 2022). "Highway 8 reopens to public". Government of British Columbia. British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastrucure. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  10. ^ Potenteau, Doyle (September 23, 2022). "Highway 8 in B.C.'s Interior reconnected, 10 months after torrential rains washed out 25 sections". Global News. Global News. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  11. ^ Staff Writer (November 9, 2022). "Nearly a year after being destroyed by floods, Highway 8 reopens". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC News. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
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British Columbia Highway 8
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