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British Columbia Highway 19


British Columbia Highway 19

Highway 19 shield

Island Highway
Inland Island Highway
Route information
Length: 406 km (252 mi)
Existed: 1953 – present
Major junctions
South end: Duke Point Ferry Terminal
  BC 1 south to Ladysmith and Victoria
BC 19A south to Downtown Nanaimo
BC 19A north to Downtown Parksville
BC 4A to Parksville, Port Alberni
BC 4 to Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni
BC 19A south to Courtenay
BC 28 west to Gold River
BC 30 southwest to Port Alice
North end: Bear Cove Ferry Terminal
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 18 BC 19A

Highway 19, known locally as the Island Highway, is the main north-south thoroughfare on Vancouver Island north of Nanaimo. A highway has existed on the Island since about 1912. Originally, gravel and rough, the highway was an essential link together with the E and N Railway. The paved highway first opened in 1953, replacing a stretch of Highway 1 between Nanaimo and Campbell River, finally being extended to the northern tip of the island in the late 1970s. The total length of the highway is 406 km (252 mi).


  • History 1
  • Route details 2
  • List of exits 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Completed in 1953, the highway was built over most of the original highway 19A. By 1979,[1] the highway was extended north to Port Hardy, where it terminated at the Bear Cove ferry terminal. Before 1979, the highway terminated in the north at Kelsey Bay, where BC Ferries originally began its northern route to Prince Rupert until moving its southern terminus north to Port Hardy after the highway was extended. Between 1996 and 2001, an express route was built further inland between Craig's Crossing and Campbell River, while another express route was built in the western part of Nanaimo, extending the highway further south to the new Duke Point ferry terminal. This makes Highway 19 the only numbered highway in B.C. to have ferry terminals at both ends.

A new (as of summer 2014) 120 km/h speed limit, on the freeway stretch north of Parksville; this is the highest signed speed limit in Canada.

Route details

Highway 19, Exit 60 interchange with Highway 4 at Qualicum Beach looking WSW

Highway 19's northern end is located at the Bear Cove ferry terminal, across the bay from Port Hardy. The highway proceeds southwest from the ferry dock for 5 km (3 mi) to a junction with the main road to the centre of Port Hardy, then turns southeast, travelling for 16 km (10 mi) to Highway 30, and then further east for 20 km (12 mi) to the main road to Port McNeill. The highway then follows the eastern shore of Nimpkish Lake and the Nimpkish River through a long stretch of dense forest terrain for 64 km (40 mi) southeast, until reaching a junction with the community of Woss, then travelling another 65 km east (40 mi), through the boundary between the Regional Districts of Mount Waddington and Strathcona, to a junction with Sayward, and finally entering the city of Campbell River another 64 km (40 mi) southeast, at a junction with Highways 28 and 19A, just past the river that the city is named for.

The entire stretch of Highway 19 north of Campbell River is an undivided two-lane configuration. Once at the junction with Highways 28 and 19A, Highway 19 separates into an expressway configuration, built between 1996 and 2001. In Campbell River, the expressway shares its northbound lanes with Tamarac Street, and its southbound lanes with Willow Street. The entire stretch of Highway 19 between Campbell River and the city of Parksville is a divided four-lane freeway or expressway (alternates), with a nominal speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph), and is referred to as the "Inland Island Highway".

South from Campbell River, Highway 19 is divided primarily by a concrete wall, and goes through a series of six at-grade intersections, five of them possessing exit numbers. 52 km (32 mi) south of Campbell River, Highway 19 reaches its first interchange, with a four-lane arterial highway that goes west to the village of Cumberland and east to the communities of Courtenay and Comox. Past the Courtenay Interchange, Highway 19 is divided by a grass median. 16 km (10 mi) later, Highway 19 reaches another interchange, this time with a two-lane road that goes a short distance east to the B.C. Ferry terminal at Buckley Bay. There are two more at-grade intersections on Highway 19 in the 41 km (25 mi) between the Buckley Bay Interchange and the interchange with Highway 4, which goes north into Qualicum Beach. 9 km (6 mi) later, Highway 19 goes through another interchange, this time with Highway 4A, which goes east into Parksville. The next interchange, at Craig's Crossing, is another 5 km south (3 mi).

Past the Craig's Crossing Interchange, Highway 19 resumes its 1953 alignment, which today is a 4-lane, divided arterial highway with a concrete median barrier mostly constructed during the 1970s. The highway passes southeast through the communities of Nanoose Bay and Lantzville before finally entering the north part of Nanaimo. Highway 19 then veers south onto a new 20 km (12 mi) long four-lane expressway known as the "Nanaimo Parkway", which has five at-grade intersections along its length. Highway 19's Nanaimo Parkway portion ends at an interchange with the Trans Canada and Cedar Road. At the interchange with Cedar Road, Highway 19 proceeds to share an alignment with the Trans-Canada Highway south for 2 km (1¼ mi) before turning eastward at another interchange (Duke Point Highway). Highway 19 then crosses over the Nanaimo River 2 km (1¼ mi) later, passes through an interchange at Maughan Rd and then goes northward for 5 km (3 mi), finally terminating at the B.C. Ferry terminal at Duke Point.

List of exits

From south to north, the following junctions are observed along Highway 19:

Regional district Location km mi Exit Destinations Notes
Nanaimo Nanaimo 0.0 0.0 Duke Point Ferry Terminal
0.3 0.2 (0) Entrance to Harmac Sawmill Traffic signal, southbound (eastbound) only
1.9 1.2 (2) Maughan Road, Biggs Park, Jack Point
Cedar 4.6 2.9 (4) Maughan Road, Duke Point Industrial Park Southbound (Eastbound) only
6.3 3.9 Nanaimo River bridge
Nanaimo 7.7 4.8 7 BC 1 south (Trans-Canada Highway) – Duncan, Victoria Left-side exit
9.4 5.8 9 Cedar Road, BC 1 north (Trans-Canada Highway) – Nanaimo, Departure Bay Left-side exit
10.6 6.6 Nanaimo Parkway segment begins - overpass over E&N Railway
15.9 9.9 16 College Drive, Fifth Street, Vancouver Island University At-grade intersection, signalized
17.9 11.1 18 Jingle Pot Road, Nanaimo City Centre At-grade intersection, signalized
20.7 12.9 21 Northfield Road At-grade side road, on right northbound, signalized
23.9 14.9 24 Jingle Pot Road, Mostar Road At-grade intersection, signalized
26.8 16.7 Overpass over E&N Railway
27.6 17.1 28 Aulds Road At-grade intersection, signalized
28.0 17.4 (28B) Mary Ellen Drive Northbound right-in/right-out
29.1 18.1 29 BC 19A south (Nanaimo Business Route) Southbound only, jughandle exit, At-grade intersection, signalized
  Nanaimo Parkway segment ends - only at-grade junctions north from here
Lantzville 30.0 18.6 (30) Ware Road Signalized
30.9 19.2 (31) Industrial Road Southbound right-in-right-out
31.8 19.8 (32) Superior Road Signalized
32.6 20.3 (33A) McKercher Road Northbound right-in-right-out
  33.4 20.8 (33B) Lantzville Road Side road, on right northbound
  34.0 21.1 (34A) Mallard Way, Capilano Road Right-in-right-out only
  34.1 21.2 (34B) Sabre Road Northbound right-in-right-out
  34.4 21.4 Nanoose Overhead - Overpass over E&N Railway
  34.8 21.6 (35) Bayview Park Drive, Rumming Road
Nanoose Bay 36.1 22.4 (36) Hillview Road - U-turn route Side road, on right southbound
39.0 24.2 (39A) Summerset Road Southbound right-in-right-out
39.1 24.3 (39B) Arlington Road Northbound right-in-right-out
39.2 24.4 (39C) Nanoose Station Road, Weeks Road
39.4 24.5 (39D) Northwest Bay Road Side road, on right northbound, signalized
39.8 24.7 (40A) Morello Road Side road, on right southbound
40.1 24.9 (40B) Kinghorn Road, Kaspar Place
41.1 25.5 (41) Fredheim Road Southbound right-in-right-out
41.6 25.8 (42) Ross Road Southbound right-in-right-out
43.1 26.8 (43) Dawson Road
43.8 27.2 (44) Northwest Bay Logging Road Signalized
  Inland Island Highway begins - Interchanges north from here unless noted
Parksville 45.2 28.1 46 BC 19A north (Oceanside Route) [Truck Scale] Craig's Crossing Interchange
47.3 29.4 Englishman River bridge
50.6 31.4 51 BC 4A (Old Alberni Highway) – Parksville, Coombs Allsbrook Interchange
Qualicum Beach 57.8 35.9 French Creek bridge
59.2 36.8 60 BC 4 (Alberni Highway) / Memorial Avenue – Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni Hilliers Interchange
  67.1 41.7 Little Qualicum River bridge
  74.4 46.2 75 Horne Lake Road – Qualicum Bay, Bowser At-grade intersection, signalized
  76.5 47.5 Big Qualicum River bridge
  81.0 50.3 Nile Creek bridge
Comox Valley   86.4 53.7 87 Cook Creek Road – Deep Bay, Fanny Bay At-grade intersection, signalized
  98.8 61.4 Tsable River bridge
  99.9 62.1 101 Buckley Bay Road – Buckley Bay, Union Bay, Royston Access to Denman Island/Hornby Island ferry
  112.7 70.0 Trent River bridge
Cumberland 116.5 72.4 117 Comox Valley Parkway – Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox Access to Powell River ferry and CFB Comox
  123.8 76.9 Puntledge River bridge
  125.6 78.0 Browns River bridge
  126.3 78.5 127 Piercy Road At-grade intersection, signalized
  129.9 80.7 130 Dove Creek Road, Strathcona Parkway – Mount Washington At-grade intersection, signalized
  137.0 85.1 Tsolum River bridge
  143.1 88.9 144 Hamm Road – Black Creek, Saratoga Beach At-grade intersection, signalized
  151.7 94.3 Oyster River bridge
Strathcona   152.7 94.9 (153) Cranberry Lane At-grade side road, on right southbound, signalized
Campbell River 160.3 99.6 161 Jubilee Parkway – Campbell River Airport At-grade intersection, signalized
166.9 103.7 167 Willis Road At-grade intersection, signalized
168.9 104.9 Northbound lanes become Tamarac Street, southbound lanes become Willow Street
169.3 105.2 (169) BC 19A south (Oceanside Route) / BC 28 west – Strathcona Provincial Park, Gold River At-grade intersections
169.5 105.3 Campbell River bridges
Highway 19 continues as a divided highway towards Port Hardy, but becomes a two/four lane highway shortly after
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

() - Exit not officially numbered


  1. ^ "Hansard extract". July 26, 1979. 

External links

  • BC Highways - Highway 19
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