- British Columbia Highway 16
Highway 16 is the
British Columbia, Canada, section of the Yellowhead Highway. The highway closely follows the path of the northern B.C. alignment of the Canadian National Railway. The number '16' was first given to the highway in 1942, and originally, the route that the highway took was more to the north of today's highway, and it was not as long as it is now. Highway 16 originally ran from New Hazelton east to an obscure location known as Aleza Lake. In 1947, Highway 16's western end was moved from New Hazelton to the coastal city of Prince Rupert, and in 1953, the highway was extended all the way east into Yellowhead Pass. Highway 16's alignment on the Queen Charlotte Islandswas commissioned in 1984, with BC Ferriesbeginning service along Highway 16 to the Queen Charlottes the following year.
The book , written by
Sarah de Leeuw, is a collection of essays about various small communities that lie along Highway 16.
The 1,347 km (837 mi)-long B.C. segment of Highway 16 begins in the west in the village of Masset, on the northern coast of
Graham Island. Proceeding south, the highway goes 38 km (24 mi) to the inlet town of Port Clements. Winding its way along the boundary of Naikoon Provincial Park, Highway 16 goes south for 27 km (17 mi) before reaching the community of Tlell. 36 km (22 mi) south of Tlell, Highway 16 reaches Skidegate, where its Queen Charlotte section terminates. BC Ferries then takes Highway 16 across the Hecate Straitfor 172 km (107 mi) due northeast to its landing at Prince Rupert.
From Prince Rupert, Highway 16 begins its winding route east through the Coast Mountain Ranges. Following the
Skeena River, the highway travels for 151 km (94 mi) to the city of Terrace. Highway 37 merges onto Highway 16 in Terrace, and the two highways share a common alignment for 91 km (57 mi) northeast to the Kitwanga junction, where Highway 37 diverges north. Another 43 km (27 mi) northeast, Highway 16 reaches New Hazelton, where it then veers southeast along the Bulkley River. 68 km (42 mi) later, the highway reaches the town of Smithers, proceeding southeast another 64 km (40 mi) to the village of Houston.
At Houston, Highway 16 begins a parallel course along the
Nechako River, proceeding 81 km (50 mi) east to its junction with Highway 35 at Burns Lake. 128 km (80 mi) east, after passing through the hamlet of Fraser Lake, Highway 16 reaches its junction with Highway 27 in the town of Vanderhoof. 97 km (60 mi) east of Vanderhoof, Highway 16 reaches its B.C. midpoint as it enters the city of Prince George at its junction with Highway 97. Highway 16 leaves Prince George after coursing through the city for 9 km (6 mi) .
within Yellowhead Pass.
Highway of Tears
An unsolved series of murders and disappearances of young women in the vicinity of Highway 16 has earned the route the nickname "the Highway of Tears". Since 1988, at least 32 women—31 of them aboriginal—have been killed or suspiciously disappeared along the 800-kilometre (500-mile) section of highway between Prince George to Prince Rupert. These crimes have remained largely uninvestigated.
As the result of a symposium held in Prince George in March 2006, aboriginal Canadians along the route are advocating better rural bus service that would help reduce the number of young native women hitchhiking. In addition, spurred on by native leaders, the
Royal Canadian Mounted Policeis officially investigating the unsolved murder or disappearance of nine women between the ages of 14 and 25 since 1974, most of whom were hitchhiking along Highway 16.
* [http://www.travel-british-columbia.com/northern_british_columbia/yellowhead_highway_16_information.aspx Travel BC Yellowhead Highway information] .
* [http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=06a847ea-6ddb-49b9-a0d5-b90471af68c9&k=76529 Call for RCMP action on highway of tears]
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