The Sea-to-Sky Highway - Linking Vancouver and Whistler
The Sea-to-Sky Highway links communities from Vancouver to Whistler. Set in a spectacular mountain landscape, the highway presents complex engineering and construction challenges.
If you're driving the spectacular 135 kilometre Sea to Sky Highway (99), there is plenty to see along the way. The old mining town of Britannia Beach has a mining museum, and several arts and crafts stores.
Fly Helijet International - 35-minute scheduled flights over ocean fiords and glacier-peaked mountains, scenic two-hour drive from Vancouver, or Perimeter Bus from Vancouver Airport or downtown Vancouver.
British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation is undertaking improvements to the highway between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler to improve its safety and reliability. By 2009, extensive highway improvements will make travel along the corridor safer for residents, commuters and tourists. This must be completed prior to the Olympics. Over the longer term, highway improvements will serve population growth, economic development in corridor communities and increasing demand for resident travel, visitor travel and goods movement.
Improvements will include highway widening and straightening, improved sightlines, passing lanes and other design innovations and measures to reduce hazards, shorten travel times and increase capacity of the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
More Info and Map ... http://www.seatoskyimprovements.ca/
British Columbia provincial highway 99 is the major nouth-south artery through the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The number of this highway is derived from the old U.S. Highway 99, which the highway originally connected with at the Canada-U.S. boundary. The highway currently connects with Interstate 5 at the international border.
This highway was originally designated '99' in 1942, and it originally shared an alignment with Highway 1 from Surrey to Vancouver. The current freeway alignment of Highway 99, between 8th Avenue in White Rock and the Fraser River between Richmond and Vancouver opened in 1962. Between 1964 and 1973, the freeway alignment of Highway 99 was designated Highway 499.
In 1957, the northern end of Highway 99 was moved from downtown Vancouver, across the Lions Gate Bridge and west to the village of Horseshoe Bay, following Marine Drive through West Vancouver. Highway 99 was re-aligned to the Upper Levels Highway and extended to Britannia Beach one year later, being extended further to Squamish in 1959, Pemberton in 1966, and all the way to a junction with Highway 97 in 1992.
The total length of Highway 99 from the international border to the highway 97 junction is 409 km. In the south, Highway 99 begins at the border crossing at the Peace Arch, with a four-lane freeway configuration. The Vancouver-Blaine Freeway, as the route is locally known, travels through Surrey 12 km due northwest from the border, through two interchanges, and then turns west for 4 km before reaching the junction with Highway 91, marking the highway's entry into the Corporation of Delta. 4 km west, Highway 99 reaches its junction with Highway 10. 8 km later, Highway 99 reaches a junction with Highway 17. Another 2 km northwest, Highway 99 crosses into Richmond through the George Massey tunnel under the south arm of the Fraser River.
Through Richmond, Highway 99 travels 7 km north, through one interchange, to the junction with the other end of Highway 91. Another 4 km northwest, the southern freeway section of Highway 99 ends as the highway crosses the north arm of the Fraser River, over the Oak Street bridge, into Vancouver.
The 30 km-long route through Vancouver starts off going for 1 km north on Oak Street to the intersection with West 70th Avenue. Highway 99 then goes west on West 70th for 1 km, and then turns right onto Granville Street. Highway 99 takes Granville Street north for 7 km, crossing over False Creek into the downtown core. Highway 99 goes northeast by way of Seymour Street through downtown for 1 km, then turns northwest onto Georgia Street for 2 km before entering Stanley Park. Highway 99 proceeds north for 4 km through Stanley Park and over the Lions Gate Bridge into West Vancouver at Marine Drive.
In West Vancouver, Highway 99 goes west on Marine Drive for 1 km, then turns right onto Taylor Way for another 1 km, finally reaching its junction with Highway 1. Highway 99 shares the Upper Levels Highway with Highway 1 for 12 km west before diverging from Highway 1 just before the B.C. Ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay.
The two-lane section of Highway 99 just north of Horseshoe Bay is known popularly as the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The highway has a checkered history; as a single-lane undivided highway with no outside barrier (the highway is built on a steep cliff overlooking a body of water), many motorists have lost their lives on it due to inclement weather, poor visibility, or drunk driving. As part of the 2010 Winter Olympics bid, the provincial government has authorized refitting the highway to accommodate greater traffic loads, hopefully widening the highway and placing a concrete divider.
From Horseshoe Bay, the highway travels along the coast of Howe Sound for 12 km to Lions Bay, north for another 21 km to Britannia Beach, and north for 11 more km to Squamish, at the head of Howe Sound. From Squamish, it is another 58 km north to Whistler, and then to Pemberton 32 km later, where the Sea-to-Sky Highway ends and Duffy Lake Road begins. 99 km northeast, Highway 99 reaches the junction with Highway 12 at Lillooet, and then goes northeast for another 75 km to its northern terminus at its junction with Highway 97, just north of Cache Creek.