History of the Lower Mainland Route in British Columbia



This srtretch of the Trans-Canada connects the North Shore's Upper Levels to BC Ferries and Whistler, with Hope and the uppper Fraser River.

The Cassiar Connector

Cassiar Tunnel, north entrance From 1990 to 1992 the highway added the Cassiar Connector, at a cost of $115-million, to speed traffic along the TransCanada Highway between Vancouver and the North Shore, and to provide access to the federal Port of Vancouver.

Work included upgrading a 2.3-kilometre stretch of the highway south of the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing to full freeway standard, adding seven overpasses, 20 retaining walls, a pedestrian bridge, two major interchanges and (most obvious change to travelers) a 730-metre tunnel.

Lower Mainland Route

Like its Vancouver Island section, the Highway on the Lower Mainland was first given the "1" designation in 1941.

Highway 1's original alignment started out within the city limits of Vancouver, and followed Kingsway from Vancouver to Surrey, and then went along the Fraser Highway to Clearbrook. From Chilliwack, the highway originally went to Rosedale, which is a community just east of Chilliwack, along Yale Road, then along Flood-Hope Road to where it picks up its current alignment just across the Fraser River from Hope.

Trans-Canada Highway west of Hope In 1959, Highway 1 was extended from within Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay by way of the Lions' Gate Bridge and Taylor Way in West Vancouver. And to the east of Vancouver, in 1962, a new expressway became the route between Clearbrook and Chilliwack.

In 1964, the Port Mann Bridge opened over the Fraser River.

In 1964, the former route 401 on the North Shore was upgraded, with the completion of a new expressway (or "freeway") which became Highway 1's current alignment all the way from West Vancouver and Rosedale. This was built at a cost of some $77 million (1964 dollars), and there were 63 separate contracts with 40 contractors. The expressway officially became part of Highway 1 in 1973.

In 1986, the stretch of Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Hope was improved to a freeway.

Water Avenue River Bridge over Fraser River, at Hope Through the 1990s, all signals and intersections on Highway 1 through Greater Vancouver were removed, making the entire section of Highway 1 between Horseshoe Bay and Hope a controlled access freeway.

Water Avenue Bridge, Hope

The 1916 Water Avenue Bridge carries the Trans Canada Highway #1 across the Fraser River at Hope. It was built to connect the Kettle Valley Railroad from Hope to the CPR mainline on the north side of the river. The bridge had two levels, with vehicular traffic on top, and railway traffic on the lower level. The bridge is no longer used by trains, but the lower deck can be observed from the north (west) bank. Choice of routes, at Hope

Heading eastward

From here, there are THREEE ROUTES eastward: the #3 Crowsnest Pass route, a meandering and relatively slow 2-lane roadway toward the southern Okanagan and then east into Alberta; #1 the official Trans-Canada Route, a two lane knuckle-biter up the very scenic Fraser Canyon taking travellers on an day-long trip up to Kamloops via Lillooet; and the #8 Coquihalla and twinned 4-lane expressway (with speeds up to 120 km/hour) which can get you to Kamloops in about 2-1/2 hours.


Other Resources

Horseshoe Bay to Hope itinerary

More Trans-Canada Highway History

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