This stretch of highway, is not part of the Trans-Canada network, but connects tourists/travellers to-from the United States, to Greater Vancouver, the BC Ferries to Vancouver Island, and the hihgway eastbound through the Lower Mainland
From Vancouver, #99 runs south from Vancouver to the US border at White Rock. This highway received the "99" designation in 1942, after completion of the King George VI Highway (1940) to the U.S. border, The current freeway alignment of Highway 99 between 8th Avenue in South Surrey and the North Arm of the Fraser River opened in 1962 as Hwy. 99 and was then called the Deas (Island) Throughway. Between 1964 and 1973, the freeway alignment of Highway 99 was designated Highway 499.
The Oak Street Bridge (connecting Vancouer to its airport in Richmond) was built in 1957 to cross the North Arm Fraser River. The Deas Island Tunnel was built 1957-59 (renamed the George Massey Tunnel in 1967) to pass under the Fraser River. These bridges & tunnels were toll routes until 1963.
Opened in 1959 at a cost of around $25 million, the George Massey Tunnel was the first of its kind in North America and among the first build concrete sections in a dry-dock, float them into position, and sunk them in a prepared trench, and join them together. The tunnel can handle 7,000 cars an hour. In 1989, a counterflow system was introduced to meet increasing traffic demand in the tunnel. During rush hour, three lanes operate in the peak direction, with one lane taking the opposing traffic flow.
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