British Columbia Highway 8

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Highway 8 shield

Highway 8
Nicola Highway
Route information
Length69 km[1] (43 mi)
Major junctions
West end Hwy 1 (TCH) in Spences Bridge
  Hwy 97C near Lower Nicola
East end Hwy 5 / Hwy 5A / Hwy 97C in Merritt
Highway system
British Columbia provincial highways
Hwy 7BHwy 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 has changed since that year. 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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,[5] 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,[when?] 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.[6]

Major intersections[edit]

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 (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 2017-03-11. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  2. ^ Schlingloff, Jeff (2006). "Route Historical Timeline". Trail - Road - Rail construction timeline. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Trans-Provincial Highway". Opposite the City. November 26, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway, November 2, 1949". RBCM Archives. Royal BC Museum. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  6. ^ "The Story of the Highway 97 Alphabet". TranBC | Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Government of British Columbia. August 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2018.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is not from Wikidata