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British Columbia Highway 99

Highway 99 marker

Highway 99

Vancouver–Blaine Freeway
Sea to Sky Highway
Duffey Lake Road
A map of southwestern British Columbia with Hwy 99 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Length377 km[1] (234 mi)
Major junctions
South end I-5 at the Canada–United States border in Surrey
Major intersections Hwy 91 in Delta
Hwy 17 in Delta
Hwy 17A in Delta
Hwy 91 in Richmond
Hwy 7 in Vancouver
Hwy 1 (TCH) in West Vancouver
Hwy 12 in Lillooet
North end Hwy 97 near Cache Creek
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtsMetro Vancouver, Squamish-Lillooet, Thompson-Nicola
Major citiesDelta, Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver
VillagesLions Bay, Pemberton
Highway system
Hwy 97D Hwy 101

Highway 99 is a provincial highway in British Columbia that runs 377 kilometres (234 mi) from the U.S. border to near Cache Creek, serving Greater Vancouver and the Squamish–Lillooet corridor. It is a major north–south artery within Vancouver and connects the city to several suburbs as well as the U.S. border, where it continues south as Interstate 5. The central section of the route, also known as the Sea to Sky Highway, serves the communities of Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton. Highway 99 continues through Lillooet and ends at a junction with Highway 97 near Cache Creek.

The highway's number, assigned in 1940, was derived from former U.S. Route 99, the predecessor to Interstate 5 and a major route for the U.S. West Coast. Highway 99 originally comprised the King George Highway in Surrey, portions of Kingsway from New Westminster to Vancouver, and local streets. It was extended across the Lions Gate Bridge and to Horseshoe Bay in the 1950s along a new highway that would later be incorporated into Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway), which has a concurrency with Highway 99 in West Vancouver.

Highway 99 was later moved to freeway sections in southern Surrey, Delta, and Richmond that opened beginning in the late 1950s. These sections, which included the George Massey Tunnel under the Fraser River, were numbered as Highway 499 until 1973. The highway's northern section was extended several times between 1959 and 1992 with the opening of routes beyond Whistler and Pemberton. For the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted by Vancouver and Whistler, the Sea to Sky Highway was rebuilt to increase safety and capacity—both of which had been longstanding issues with the highway as recreational and commercial traffic increased in the late 20th century. In 2006, The Guardian newspaper from the United Kingdom listed the Sea to Sky as the fifth best road trip worldwide.[2]

Route description

South Surrey to Richmond

South portal of the George Massey Tunnel, which carries Highway 99 into Richmond

The southern terminus of Highway 99 is at the Peace Arch Border Crossing on the international border between the Canadian province of British Columbia and the U.S. state of Washington.[3] It is a continuation of Interstate 5, a freeway that continues south towards Seattle and major cities on the U.S. West Coast, ultimately ending near Tijuana, Mexico.[4][5] The highway passes the Peace Arch monument in the international park of the same name and travels north through a 24-hour customs facility operated by the Canada Border Services Agency in Douglas, part of southern Surrey on Boundary Bay.[6][7] The freeway travels northwest with four lanes around the city of White Rock and through residential neighbourhoods in Surrey on the south side of the Nicomekl River. Beyond the river, Highway 99 gains a northbound bus lane on its shoulder and traverses farmland as it turns west along the shoreline of Boundary Bay.[8][9]

The freeway follows Boundary Bay into the city of Delta and intersects Highway 91, which connects to New Westminster and provides an alternative route to Richmond.[10] Highway 99 continues west through a junction with Ladner Trunk Road (formerly Highway 10) to reach an interchange with Highway 17, which travels to Tsawwassen and its major ferry terminal and freight hub.[11][12] The freeway turns northwest and passes through a junction with Highway 17A before it enters the George Massey Tunnel, which travels under the South Arm of the Fraser River from Deas Island to Richmond.[8][13] The tunnel has four lanes, of which one is able to reverse on a set schedule to provide a third lane in the peak direction of travel.[13][14]

Within Richmond, Highway 99 travels north with six lanes and bus shoulders through an interchange with the Steveston Highway and a rural area. It then reaches a second junction with Highway 91 that bisects the Richmond Nature Park and includes ramps to Alderbridge Way and Knight Street.[15] The freeway turns northwest and passes through a residential neighbourhood to reach an interchange with Sea Island Way, which provides a connection to Vancouver International Airport, Sea Island, and the Bridgeport transit hub.[10] Highway 99 then crosses over the Canada Line and Fraser River on the Oak Street Bridge, which carries four lanes into the city of Vancouver.[8][16]


Aerial view of the Lions Gate Bridge, which carries Highway 99 between Vancouver and West Vancouver

The freeway section of Highway 99 ends at an interchange with Marine Drive on the north end of the Oak Street Bridge in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood.[17] Within Vancouver, the highway travels for 30 kilometres (19 mi) on various city streets that are maintained by the city government and are also served by TransLink buses.[3][18] The highway briefly travels north on Oak Street and turns west onto West 70th Avenue[i] through several residential blocks. Highway 99 then turns north onto Granville Street, which it follows for 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) through residential neighbourhoods and a commercial district near its junction with Broadway, which carries the westernmost section of Highway 7.[8][17]

The highway travels onto the Granville Bridge, which carries eight lanes of traffic over False Creek and Granville Island into Downtown Vancouver.[19] The bridge includes ramps on its south side to West 4th Avenue and other streets, as well as an interchange on its north side with loop ramps that connect to Pacific Boulevard and Pacific Street.[20][21] Highway 99 passes over the University Canada West campus and splits into a pair of one-way streets: Seymour Street for northbound traffic and Howe Street for southbound traffic;[3] the two streets are split by Granville Street, which continues as a transit mall for TransLink buses.[22]

Seymour and Howe streets pass through residential and commercial areas in Downtown Vancouver, which include department stores, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Square, the CF Pacific Centre, and several SkyTrain stations.[16] Highway 99 turns west onto Georgia Street and returns to bi-directional traffic as it traverses the West End near the city's central waterfront.[17] The street carries four lanes for general purpose traffic and two lanes shared by buses and bicycles during daytime hours; beyond Pender Street, it gains a center reversible lane that is controlled with traffic signals.[23] The highway then travels through Stanley Park with three lanes–one per direction and a center reversible lane—and crosses the Lions Gate Bridge over the First Narrows as it leaves Vancouver.[3]

West Vancouver and Sea to Sky Highway

The Lions Gate Bridge continues into West Vancouver and bisects X̱wemelch'stn, an Indian reserve managed by the Squamish Nation. Highway 99 briefly travels west onto Marine Drive after an interchange and crosses the Capilano River to the Park Royal Shopping Centre, where it turns north onto Taylor Way.[10] The highway then passes through a residential neighbourhood and reaches an interchange with Highway 1, part of the Trans-Canada Highway system. Highway 99 joins Highway 1 on the Upper Levels Highway, a four-lane freeway that travels west through residential neighbourhoods on the south side of Cypress Mountain.[24] The freeway makes several gradual turns as it ascends the foothills of Cypress Mountain; Highway 1 splits from the highway to serve the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, a major hub for BC Ferries, as it continues onward to Vancouver Island.[8][24]

Highway 99 north of Squamish

The "Sea to Sky Highway" is the name given to the 134-kilometre (83 mi) section of Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton,[25] a province-designated scenic highway and tourist attraction.[26][27] From Horseshoe Bay, the four-lane divided highway travels along the eastern coast of Howe Sound and the foothills of the North Shore Mountains.[28] Highway 99 follows the BC Rail mainline, which runs below along the coastline, and narrows to a two-lane undivided highway at Tunnel Point north of Lions Bay;[29][30] the point also marks the boundary between Greater Vancouver and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. The highway then continues north with occasional passing lanes and divided sections, as well as scenic viewpoints and rest areas,[28] and later reverts to a limited access roadway as it descends into Britannia Beach, home to the Britannia Mine Museum.[8][28]

Highway 99 travels northeast through Murrin Provincial Park as it ascends a hill to bypass Watts Point, an extinct volcanic centre on Howe Sound.[28] The highway then descends along the coast towards Squamish at the head of Howe Sound. It passes a ferry terminal at Darrell Bay and the viewpoint for Shannon Falls, the third-highest waterfall in the province at 335 metres (1,099 ft).[28] Highway 99 passes under Stawamus Chief, a large mountain immediately outside of Squamish, and travels through the city's residential neighbourhoods. It bypasses downtown to serve a commercial and industrial area on the north side of the city and briefly turns northeast to cross the Mamquam River.[8] The highway continues north along the Squamish River through Cheakamus Canyon towards Whistler and then onward to Pemberton.[citation needed] The corridor is also home to the Sea to Sky Trail, a multi-use trail for hiking and cycling that runs from Squamish to D'Arcy north of Pemberton.[31][32]

Duffey Lake Road

Highway 99 continues on Duffey Lake Road from Pemberton to Lillooet. This section of road parallels several rivers and water bodies, including the Squamish River, the Cheakamus River, and Daisy Lake, which flow south toward Howe Sound. In Whistler, near Alta Lake, the road crosses a watershed, and north of this point, the road follows the Green River and Lillooet River which flow north and east toward Lillooet Lake, and ultimately towards the Fraser River.[8] The speed limit of the Sea to Sky Highway ranges from 80 to 100 km/h (50 to 62 mph) with 60 km/h (37 mph) sections in Lions Bay, Britannia Beach and parts of Squamish.

After passing Lillooet Lake, the highway climbs a steep grade to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, and shortly after passes through Cayoosh Pass, the highest point on the highway at 1,275 m (4,183 ft). East of the pass the road follows the course of Cayoosh Creek as it traverses the southern base of Mount Rohr and skirts Duffey Lake Provincial Park. As Duffey Lake Road, after winding almost 99 km (62 mi) northeast in very steep mountains where sometimes the advisory speed limit is 20 km/h (12 mph), and is legally posted as 60 km/h (37 mph) throughout. Highway 99 reaches the junction with Highway 12 at Lillooet, and then goes northeast for another 75 km (47 mi) to its northern terminus at its junction with Highway 97, just north of Cache Creek and just south of Clinton.


King George Highway

The modern-day highways between the Peace Arch Border Crossing and New Westminster generally follow the Semiahmoo Trail, an overland route used by indigenous Coast Salish peoples that was later adopted by fur traders and early non-indigenous Fraser Valley settlers in the 1860s.[33] The trail was replaced with a wagon road that was completed by the provincial government in 1879.[34] The Pacific Highway was later built in the 1910s to connect Vancouver to Seattle and the rest of the U.S. West Coast and marked by the Peace Arch, a monument dedicated in 1921 to commemorate the Treaty of Ghent.[35][36] The highway was later[when?] numbered U.S. Route 99 in Washington and "Route R" in British Columbia.[37]

Construction of a modern highway to link Vancouver with the U.S. border, initially named the Peace Arch Highway, began in 1931 with the establishment of a work camp in Surrey.[38] The new highway would bypass a hilly section of the Pacific Highway south of Kingsway in Cloverdale and be built with future expansion to four lanes.[39] The city of Burnaby later began planning for a new corridor to parallel Kingsway in lieu of widening the existing street, which was followed by a plan by New Westminster to improve its section of the highway;[40][41] local officials in Delta requested the construction of a new highway to link the Peace Arch to Ladner and Lulu Island (modern-day Richmond).[42] By July 1938, construction on all sections of the 14-mile (23 km) highway between the Peace Arch and the Pattullo Bridge into New Westminster was underway.[43][44] The first sections of the unpaved highway were opened in June 1939 and the gravel surfacing was completed from the Nicomekl River to New Westminster in October.[45][46]

The new roadway was renamed for King George VI and numbered Highway 99 by the provincial government to match U.S. Route 99 to the south;[47][48] a special purple-and-gold highway shield with the letters "G.R." was designed for Highway 99.[49] The 17-mile (27 km) King George VI Highway was dedicated by the provincial government at the Peace Arch on October 16, 1940, and cost $800,000 to construct.[50] It had two fully paved lanes and featured a maximum grade of 4 percent between the U.S. border and the Pattullo Bridge.[51] Highway 99 continued northwest on Kingsway, which it shared with Highway 1, through New Westminster to Downtown Vancouver and ended at the edge of Stanley Park.[52][53]

Vancouver–Squamish Highway

Highway 99 was extended to West Vancouver in 1956, crossing the existing Lions Gate Bridge across the First Narrows of the Burrard Inlet, and continued along Marine Drive and Taylor Drive for 1.1 kilometres (0.7 mi) to the new Upper Levels Highway.[54][55] The Lions Gate Bridge opened in 1938 and was operated by the Guinness family until it was purchased by the provincial government in 1955; it was tolled until 1963.[55][56] The 16-kilometre (10 mi), two-lane Upper Levels Highway opened on September 14, 1957, between Taylor Way in West Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay.[57] It cost $1.3 million to construct and replaced a winding coastal section of Marine Drive,[58] but initially lacked guardrails and other safety features due to a rushed opening.[59][60] Taylor Way was later widened to four lanes in early 1958 to handle increased traffic to the Upper Levels Highway,[61] which was extended east to the Second Narrows Bridge in 1961 and signed as part of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1).[62][63]

The bridge acquisition and Upper Levels Highway construction were part of the provincial government's plan to complete the Vancouver–Squamish Highway, which would open vehicular access beyond Horseshoe Bay.[64][65] The new highway was built alongside the government-owned Pacific Great Eastern Railway (now BC Rail), which completed an extension along Howe Sound to Squamish on August 27, 1956, to connect with an existing route to Prince George.[66][67] Both corridors were preceded by the Lillooet Cattle Trail, a wagon trail established in 1877 and used for a decade until it was replaced by inland railroads.[68][69] Surveyors began work in 1949 to find a suitable route along Howe Sound to link existing roads that ended at Whytecliff (overlooking Horseshoe Bay) and Britannia Beach.[70]

Two competing routes emerged in the early 1950s: one following the Howe Sound coastline at a cost of approximately $6 million; and another that would travel north along the Capilano River from West Vancouver for 24 kilometres (15 mi) and cross over a pass at 580 metres (1,900 ft) to follow Furry Creek to Britannia at an initial cost of $3.5 million.[71][72] The Howe Sound route had been criticised for its higher cost and complexity due to the rugged terrain and parallel railroad;[73][74] at the time, an unpaved road along the Capilano–Furry route was passable for some traffic but a full highway would require steeper grades that would not be accessible during parts of the winter.[72][75] Planning was delayed for several years by the provincial government to negotiate with the Greater Vancouver Water District,[76] who opposed the Capilano–Furry route due to its potential effects on the protected drinking water source for the city.[73][77] The water district also cited the need for a filtration plant to prevent highway debris and pollutants from contaminating the basin, which would cost up to $12 million.[71][78] On May 18, 1954, the provincial cabinet announced that the Vancouver–Squamish Highway would be constructed along the Howe Sound route to a width of 10 metres (34 ft) at an unspecified cost.[67][79]

The 13-kilometre (8 mi) section between Britannia and Squamish had already been built by 1950 and improved later that year with $15,000 in funding to bypass a steep segment with 10–15 percent grades.[80][81] Construction of a 9.7-kilometre (6 mi) section north of Horseshoe Bay began in early 1955 under the same contractor as a parallel section of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway.[82][83] The provincial government also announced plans to build a highway extension to serve Garibaldi Provincial Park north of Squamish, the site of planned tourist development and a potential national park, in early 1956.[84] Two more contracts were awarded by the end of the year and construction on all 32 kilometres (20 mi) of the highway was underway by March 1956.[85][86] Work on the highway began with clearing and explosive blasting of rock faces above the railway, which was protected by wooden boards laid over the tracks.[82][87] An estimated 9.5 million tonnes (21,000,000,000 lb) of material was blasted or excavated for the highway project, which was delayed by a year due to the reassignment of labour to finish the Pacific Great Eastern Railway.[88][89]

External media
video icon Photolog: Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish (1966)

The Vancouver–Squamish Highway, officially named the Seaview Highway,[90] was dedicated and opened to traffic on August 7, 1958, with 600 cars queued to drive the completed 48-kilometre (30 mi) route from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish.[91] The majority of the two-lane highway was paved in July through a rush order from the provincial government to complete a preliminary surface, while 24 kilometres (15 mi) between Britannia and Squamish remained a gravel road with steeper grades and narrower turns.[92][93] The project cost a total of $11 million to construct and was expected to attract investment in a planned ski resort at the base of Garibaldi Mountain.[94][95] The new highway was later furnished with guard rails, curbs, and culverts within a few weeks of opening; the paved and gravelled sections developed large potholes within a month of opening, which required additional construction.[96][97]

The provincial government announced plans pave the Britannia–Squamish section and extend the highway to Pemberton and Lillooet by 1965 following requests from local business leaders.[98][99] The existing route from Squamish to Lillooet was 90 kilometres (56 mi) long and mostly unpaved, with some sections that required vehicles with four-wheel drive to negotiate the terrain.[100] Construction of an all-season gravel road to Alta Lake at the base of Whistler Mountain was announced in March 1962 as part of a larger development plan for a ski area that could host the Winter Olympics.[101][102] By the following June, four-wheel drive vehicles were able to access Alta Lake via the rudimentary gravel road, but it remained closed to the public.[103][104] The Alta Lake extension was completed in time for the opening of the Whistler Blackcomb ski area on January 15, 1966, which brought more traffic to the highway.[105][106] A bypass of Squamish opened in March 1966 and the section to Alta Lake was paved by the end of the year.[107][108] A resort town on the highway, named Whistler, was developed in the late 1970s and 1980s at the base of the mountain near Alta Lake.[106]

An unpaved extension to Pemberton was opened in 1965 and described as being of a "reasonable driving standard" by the Minister of Recreation.[107][109] In 1969, the rebuilt and paved Britannia–Squamish section of Highway 99 opened at a cost of $2.5 million.[110][111] The highway was occasionally closed during winters due to washouts, floods, and rockslides that required explosives to clear.[112][113] The paved highway was extended to Pemberton and Mount Currie by 1975.[114][115]

Vancouver–Blaine Freeway construction

In 1953, Minister of Public Works Phil Gaglardi proposed a four-lane freeway that would connect the U.S. border to Vancouver via Richmond's Lulu Island with a connection to Vancouver International Airport. The proposal would extend Highway 99 and incorporate the Oak Street Bridge, a new road crossing of the Fraser River's North Arm that replaced the aging Marpole Bridge in 1957.[116][117] Specific routing plans were kept a "closely-guarded secret" by the provincial government to prevent land speculation from increasing costs;[118] Gaglardi also proposed financing the new highway as a limited-access tollway that would eventually continue through Vancouver to the Lions Gate Bridge and Upper Levels Highway.[119] A survey team was dispatched to find a location for the envisioned freeway to cross the Fraser River's South Arm and four candidate sites were identified in early 1955: Port Mann in Surrey, Annacis Island near New Westminster, Deas Island near Ladner, and Tilbury Island.[120][121]

A tunnel at the Deas Island site, which would replace an existing ferry and cost up to $17 million, was announced as the winning option in February 1956 following a recommendation from a contracted engineering firm.[122][123] Construction began with a ceremonial cement pouring overseen by premier W. A. C. Bennett in May 1957 and was conducted using a set of six concrete immersed tubes that were constructed on the shore.[124][125] The Deas Island Tunnel and its 12.1-kilometre (7.5 mi) approaches on Lulu Island and near Ladner were opened for a preview weekend beginning May 23, 1959,[126] where it attracted 133,000 vehicles.[127][128] The tunnel was formally dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II on July 15, 1959, and later renamed the George Massey Tunnel.[13][129] Tolls were collected at both the four-lane tunnel and the Oak Street Bridge until March 31, 1964.[130]

A regional freeway network for Greater Vancouver was proposed by a provincial government report in April 1959 and included a six-lane freeway that followed Arbutus Street from the Oak Street Bridge to a loop around Downtown Vancouver that connected to the Lions Gate Bridge.[131] The freeway alignment of Highway 99 between 8th Avenue in South Surrey and the North Arm of the Fraser River opened in 1962 and was originally named the Deas (Island) Throughway. Between 1964 and 1973, the freeway alignment of Highway 99 was designated Highway 499;[132] the old alignment was redesignated as Highway 99A.[133] The four-lane, 35-kilometre (22 mi) freeway between the Deas Island Tunnel and the U.S. border was opened on May 29, 1962, by premier Bennett and Washington Governor Albert D. Rosellini. It cost $57 million to construct and was funded by the provincial government.[134][135]

Lillooet extension and other projects

An unpaved logging road from Pemberton Valley to Lillooet, later named Duffey Lake Road, was built in the 1960s and opened to limited recreational use in 1972.[136][137] The 90-kilometre (56 mi) road was widened to a width of 7.3 metres (24 ft) and opened to the public on weekends and outside of logging periods to access recreational areas and bypass the congested Fraser Canyon highways.[138][139] The provincial government provided funding for maintenance for several years before formally taking control on April 1, 1979.[140] Early concepts for an extension of Highway 99 to Lillooet in the 1960s included a 39-kilometre (24 mi) ferry to cross Anderson and Seton lakes.[141]

Paving of Duffey Lake Road began in 1990 and was mostly completed by the end of the following year at a cost of $22.5 million. During construction, a group from the Lil'wat First Nation blockaded the road at Mount Currie during a conflict with Lillooet residents and authorities; the 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) section through the community was left unpaved for several years.[142][143] The paved section was incorporated into an extension of Highway 99 in 1992.[142] A section of Highway 12 between Lillooet and Highway 97 was also re-numbered 99.[citation needed] The portion of the highway between Lillooet and Pavilion was part of the route of the Old Cariboo Road, which was developed in the 1850s and 1860s during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.[144]

Olympics upgrades and later history

The Horseshoe Bay–Pemberton section of Highway 99 was renamed the Sea to Sky Highway in the 1980s and remained a two-lane undivided highway with various safety issues.[64][145] It had no outside barrier to prevent vehicles from falling off the steep cliff overlooking Howe Sound or to prevent rocks from overhead bluffs from hitting the highway.[146] Fatalities on the section were attributed to inclement weather conditions that changed rapidly,[145] poor visibility, excessive speed, drunk drivers, and difficulty in passing slower vehicles.[citation needed] From 1998 to 2004, the highway had an annual average of 574 collisions or accidents with eight fatalities per year—far higher than a comparable highway in the province.[147]

A major reconstruction of the highway, including widening sections to four lanes between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish, was proposed by political leaders in 1981 following the death of nine people who had driven off a washed out wooden bridge over M Creek.[148] At the time, the Sea to Sky Highway had five wooden bridges that had yet to be replaced.[148][149] The provincial government announced a $110 million plan to improve the highway, which was outfitted with passing lanes and new bridges by the end of the decade.[145]

As part of the Vancouver–Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the provincial government authorized an upgrade of the highway to accommodate greater traffic loads, widening the highway and adding a concrete divider.[150] The bid also considered a new highway to bypass parts of the corridor, including a tunnel under Grouse Mountain or a toll road through Indian Arm, but they were not advanced for further planning.[151][152] A large section had already been upgraded between Squamish and Whistler in 2002, prior to the Olympics being awarded, to improve upon work done during the 1980s. The Sea to Sky is a freeway from the interchange with Highway 1 to the at-grade intersection with Lawrence Way. After that, there are sporadic interchanges and at-grade intersections. It is mostly a divided highway all the way to Lions Bay and through Squamish.[153] The project cost $600 million and included the construction of large retaining walls, wider bridges able to withstand earthquakes, and mesh screens for rockfalls.[64][147] The section was added to the National Highway System in 2004.[154] Several bilingual signs with place names in the Squamish language (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) and special highway markers shaped like paddles were also installed on Highway 99 by April 2009 as part of the project.[155]

On-site protests delayed part of the construction, especially near wildlife habitats in the Eagleridge Bluffs of West Vancouver.[156] Protesters claimed that a tunnel was a safer and environmentally friendlier alternative. A court injunction and police were used to remove the protestors, one of whom, Harriet Nahanee, a respected Squamish elder, died soon after in the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre from health complications alleged to be related to her arrest and incarceration.[157][158] Plans to build a new highway through West Vancouver to directly connect the Lions Gate Bridge to the Upper Levels Freeway were rejected by the provincial government following a study that determined it would not be cost-effective.[159] As a result of the highway reconstruction, crashes on the section dropped by 66 percent; communities along the corridor also saw significant population growth, in part because the highway made longer commutes more viable.[156]

During the Olympic Games, a checkpoint was installed on Highway 99 near Squamish to inspect travellers to Whistler, who were required to present a valid permit for parking provided by their hotel or issued to residents and workers.[160][161] Shuttle buses ran between Vancouver and Whistler for spectators and other visitors during the Olympics.[162]

Future plans

In 2006, the provincial government announced the Gateway Program, a major regional transportation plan that would include a replacement for the George Massey Tunnel. Under the plan, the tunnel would be tolled and twinned to add an additional lane in each direction, but it was given a lower priority due to its potential effects of moving traffic bottlenecks to the Oak Street and Knight Street bridges.[163] The twinning proposal was one of several options considered during a public consultation in 2012,[164] which resulted in a new proposal from Liberal premier Christy Clark to build a ten-lane toll bridge that would cost $3.5 billion to construct.[165] Following the 2017 election, the New Democratic Party announced the cancellation of the bridge proposal and commissioned an independent review with alternative plans.[166] A plan to build an eight-lane immersed tube tunnel with dedicated transit, bicycle, and pedestrian access was announced in August 2021. It is planned to be completed in 2030 at a cost of $4.15 billion.[167][168]

Proposals to build an alternative Burrard Inlet road crossing to replace the Lions Gate Bridge have been announced by various business groups and political leaders since the 1930s, with more serious studies undertaken in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The NDP government in the mid-1990s also considered a tunnel, but chose instead to re-deck the Lions Gate Bridge with work completed in 2001.[169][170] The project also included widening of the Stanley Park Causeway and the removal of trees in the park, which caused protests from environmental groups. The Vancouver Park Board approved of an agreement with TransLink, the city and provincial governments, and ICBC in 2000 to allow the widening on the condition that private vehicular traffic on the causeway and Lions Gate Bridge would be banned in 2030 if a new crossing were built.[171] The agreement was not included in the final contract, but a closure of the bridge to vehicular traffic is listed in the City of Vancouver's 2040 plan.[172][173]

Major intersections

Regional DistrictLocationkm[1]miExit[174]DestinationsNotes
Metro VancouverSurrey0.000.00
I-5 south – Bellingham, Seattle
Continues into Washington
Canada – United States border at Peace Arch Border Crossing
0.600.371Beach RoadAt-grade intersection
1.600.992 8 Avenue (Hwy 914:3186 east) to Hwy 1 / Hwy 15 – USA Border, Pacific X-ing, White RockSigned as exits 2A (east) and 2B (west) southbound; former Hwy 99A north
3.412.12416 Avenue
7.274.528A152 Street southSouthbound exit only
7.664.768B32 Avenue, 152 Street northSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
9.635.9810King George Boulevard – Surrey City CentreNo access to Hwy 99 southbound from King George northbound; former Hwy 99A
Delta15.569.6716 Hwy 91 north – North Delta, New WestminsterAlternate route to Richmond, Vancouver International Airport, and Vancouver.
20.3612.6520Ladner Trunk Road – South DeltaNorthbound access to Boundary Bay Airport; former Hwy 10
23.6114.672380 StreetSouthbound exit only; access to Boundary Bay Airport
25.3715.7626 Hwy 17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road) to Hwy 1 east – Tsawwassen ferry terminal, Victoria, Nanaimo, HopeHwy 17 exit 13; no direct access from Hwy 99 north to Hwy 17 east; Victoria and Nanaimo are via BC Ferries
27.8617.3128 Hwy 17A south / River Road – Ladner
28.6017.7729River Road southSouthbound exit only
South Arm Fraser River29.55–
George Massey Tunnel
Metro VancouverRichmond31.5919.6332Steveston Highway
35.6822.1736Westminster HighwayNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
36.7122.8137 Hwy 91 east – North Delta, SurreyHwy 91 exit 23; no access to Alderbridge Way
37.3323.2038Shell RoadSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
38.3123.8039BNo. 4 RoadSouthbound exit only
38.9124.1839A Sea Island Way (Hwy 911:2923 east) – Airport (YVR)No northbound exit
39 Bridgeport Road – Airport (YVR)Northbound exit and entrance
North Arm Fraser River38.91–
Oak Street Bridge
Metro VancouverVancouver40.6925.2841Southwest Marine DriveSigned as 41A (Marine Drive east) and 41B (Marine Drive west) northbound; no southbound exit number; becomes Oak Street
North end of freeway
40.8625.39West 70th AvenueHwy 99 branches west onto 70th Avenue (officially);[3] left turns prohibited; Hwy 99 signed on both Oak and Granville Streets
South end of City of Vancouver jurisdiction
44.527.7West 41st AvenueSigned Hwy 99 connection between Oak Street and Granville Street
47.429.5West 12th AvenueTo Hwy 1 (TCH) east
47.729.6 West Broadway (Hwy 7 east)Signed Hwy 99 connection between Oak Street and Granville Street
48.230.0West 4th Avenue, Fir Street southInterchange; 4th Avenue is southbound exit and northbound entrance; Fir Street is southbound exit only
Granville Street Bridge over False Creek
49.130.5Seymour Street, Howe Street
Granville Street
One-way transition; northbound Hwy 99 follows Seymour Street, southbound Hwy 99 followes Howe Street; left exit to Granville Street
49.931.0Nelson Street (to Cambie Street)One-way, southeast-bound; provides access to the Cambie Bridge
50.131.1Smithe StreetOne-way, northwest-bound; provides access from the Cambie Bridge
50.331.3Robson Street
Georgia Street
Seymour Street, Howe Street
Former Hwy 1A / Hwy 99A south; Hwy 99 turns onto Georgia Street; south end of former Hwy 1A concurrency
50.831.6Burrard StreetProvides access to the Burrard Bridge
52.4032.56North end of City of Vancouver jurisdiction • Enters Stanley Park
52.7132.75North Lagoon DriveGrade separated; no southbound exit
54.3833.79Stanley Park DriveGrade separated; no southbound entrance; closed during peak hours
54.7033.99Exits Stanley Park
Burrard Inlet54.70–
Lions Gate Bridge
Metro VancouverWest Vancouver56.5235.12 Marine Drive to Capilano Road / Hwy 1 (TCH) – North Vancouver (city)Interchange; Hwy 99 branches west onto Marine Drive
56.9135.36Marine Drive / Taylor WayHwy 99 branches north onto Taylor Way
58.0936.1013 Hwy 1 (TCH) east / Taylor Way – North Vancouver (district), VancouverInterchange; former Hwy 1A western terminus; south end of Hwy 1 concurrency; exit numbers follow Hwy 1
South end of freeway
59.7237.111115th Street, Cross Creek Road
60.6337.671021st Street, Westhill DriveNo southbound exit
61.2838.081022nd StreetSouthbound exit only
62.7238.978Cypress Bowl Road
64.2939.957Wentworth Avenue, Westmount Road
66.9641.614Woodgreen Drive, Headland Drive
68.7642.733 Hwy 1 (TCH) west to Hwy 101 – Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, Nanaimo, GibsonsEagle Ridge Interchange; northbound exit and southbound entrance
North end of Hwy 1 concurrency; Hwy 101, Nanaimo and Gibsons are via BC Ferries; Sea to Sky Highway south end
69.3743.102Eagleridge Drive, Marine Drive to Hwy 911:2924 northNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
72.5745.09Horseshoe Bay Drive (Hwy 911:2924 south) to Marine DriveSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
73.9945.98Seascape Drive, Ansell PlaceU-turn route
North end of freeway
74.6746.40Lawrence WayAt-grade intersection; no northbound entrance
76.4847.52Strachan Point RoadSouthbound right-in and right-out
77.6348.24Ocean Point Drive to Strachan Point RoadSeagull intersection
Lions Bay80.5050.02Kelvin Grove WayInterchange
81.1550.42Lions Bay AvenueInterchange
83.0751.62Brunswick RoadInterchange
Squamish-Lillooet92.2257.30Porteau RoadInterchange; U-turn route
96.4259.91Furry Creek DriveNorthbound right-in/right-out
97.9560.86Furry Creek DriveSouthbound right-in/right-out
Britannia Beach102.2863.55Copper Drive
Squamish113.6770.63Cleveland Avenue, Loggers LaneCleaveland Avenue provides access to Downtown Squamish
116.5572.42Centennial WayInterchange
121.0075.19Depot Road – Brackendale
123.4876.73Squamish Valley Road, Alice Lake Road – Paradise ValleyAlice Lake Road serves Alice Lake Provincial Park
154.5596.03Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
157.7998.05Callaghan Valley Road – Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Lake Provincial Park
Whistler166.46103.43Alta Lake Road
167.68104.19Lake Placid RoadProvides access to Creekside Village
171.73106.71Village Gate RoadProvides access to Whistler Village
172.36107.10Lorimer RoadProvides access to Upper Village
Pemberton203.56126.49Pemberton Meadows Road, Vine RoadSea to Sky Highway north end; Duffey Lake Road south end
Mount Currie210.50130.80Pemberton Portage Road – D'Arcy
Lillooet301.07187.08Seton Lake Road (Hwy 40 west) – Gold BridgeUnofficial Hwy 40 is unsigned
301.58187.39Bridge of the Twenty-Three Camels over the Fraser River
302.31187.85 Hwy 12 south – Lytton, HopeHwy 99 branches north; Duffey Lake Road north end
Thompson-Nicola377.04234.28 Hwy 97 – Prince George, 100 Mile House, Cache Creek, Kamloops
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ A left turn from Oak Street onto 70th Avenue is not permitted, but a right turn from 70th Avenue onto Oak Street is permitted.


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British Columbia Highway 99
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