Major Highways

Highway 97


BC Provincial Highway 97 provides a vital link for communities and resource throughout central and northern B.C. Highway 97 is part of the provincial highway system that stretches from the Canada/US border to the BC/Yukon border, Highway 97 being the longest single numbered route in the province. It is a major north/south route linking several major BC communities to local, national and international markets.

Highway 97 is known by several names, each one designated to one of four stretches of the highway. The northern sections of the highway include the Cariboo Highway from Cache Creek to Prince George, the John Hart Highway from Prince George to Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek north where it terminates at the BC/Yukon border. The route takes its number from US Route 97, which it connects to at the US/Canada border and runs the length of the United States all the way to California.

Recent upgrades to Highway 97 have created new opportunities for Northern BC businesses and industries which were previously hindered by the constraints on the highway that impeded the flow of commercial traffic. Upgrades to the Highway include expansions to four lanes in crucial areas and heightening of bridges and overpasses to meet the minimum standard of 5.0 meters. This allows the companies that are operating in the Northeast with quick and direct access to the rest of the province and its business activities.


The Northern Corridor spans over half of continental Canada and reaches well into the heartland of North America south of Chicago, USA. It travels through the lowest elevations of the Americas great continental divide, also known as the “Yellow Head Pass,” and forms the straightest, shortest, flattest route for Asian- North American trade. Three Northern British Columbia ports provide efficient access to this corridor; Kitimat, Stewart and Prince Rupert. Each port offers unique advantages and services that meet the needs of the region and international trade.

Trans-continental rail, Trans-Canada Highway and direct air service into international Air Hubs are in place. The corridor services business covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement, through a variety of break bulk and container services in ports operated by governments and those run by private port interests.

The Northern Corridor is less impeded by road closures, significant weather patterns and avalanches than the Southern Canadian corridor. It provides “one less day” shipping advantage to or from Asia compared to all other North American Port locations including Vancouver and all USA pacific Ports.

Northern Corridor Specifications

Commercial Vehicle Without Permit

Maximum Width 2.59 meters
Maximum Height 4.15 meters
Maximum Vehicle Weights  
Super B 63,500 kgs
Single Axel 9,100 kgs
Tandem Axle (Set) 17,000 kgs
Tridem Axle (Set) 24,000 kgs


Commercial Vehicle With Permit

Maximum Width 4.4 meters
Maximum Height 4.72 meters
Maximum Vehicle Weights  
Super B 64,000 kgs
Single Axel 9,100 kgs
Tandem Axle (Set) 23,000 kgs
Tridem Axle (Set) 29,000 kgs


Overhead Clearances

Highway 97 – Quesnel to Dawson Creek
Clearance (meters)
Quesnel to Prince George  
Bellows CN Railway Overpass 4.96m
Hixon CN Railway Overpass 4.90m
Stoner CN Railway Overpass 4.70m
Red Rock CN Railway Overpass 4.64m
Prince George to Mackenzie Junction  
Salmon River Bridge 5.40m
Parsnip River Bridge 5.05m
Mackenzie Junction to Chetwynd  
Bijoux CN Railway Overpass 6.30m
West Pine CN Railway Overpass 4.92m
Chetwynd to Dawson Creek
East Pine CN Railway Overpass 5.00m


Yellowhead Highway 16 - BC Border to Prince Rupert Clearance (meters)
Khyex River Bridge 5.95m
Kitsequcla Overpass 5.7m
Tete Jaune underpass 4.96m
Highway 37 from Hwy 16 North to Yukon Border  
Irving River Bridge #2 5.74m
Devil Creek Bridge 5.74m
Highway 37 from Hwy 16 South to Kitimat  
Williams Creek Bridge 4.97m
Hirsch Creek Bridge 4.72m
Kitimat River Bridge 5.08m
Highway 37A from Hwy 37 To Stewart  
No Clearances  


Grande Cache Highway 40, Alberta

An alternative route to Northern British Columbia is to follow Highway 16 East into Alberta and take Highway 40 North through Grande Cache and to Grand Prairie. This route is significantly longer but offers higher clearances for oversized loads.

Yellowhead Highway 16 – Grade Prairie Via Highway 40 Clearance (meters) 
 Local Road South of Grande Cache 6.0m
Steel Truss North of Grande Cache 6.0m
Mine Road North of Grande Cache 6.2m


Provincial Permit Centre

For more information on receiving a commercial vehicle permit please contact 1-800-559-9688.  The core hours of service are from 5am to 10pm, seven days a week and most statutory holidays.  The 1-800 number is available to callers anywhere in Canada or the United States. Permits available through this line include: 

  • non-resident commercial vehicle permits 
  • term oversize and overweight permits 
  • single trip oversize and overweight permits 
  • motor fuel tax permits 
  • highway crossing permits 
  • extra-provincial temporary operating permits