-The Trans-Canada Highway is a transcontinental federal-provincial highway system that travels through all ten provinces of Canada between its Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean coasts to the west and east respectively. It is, along with the Trans-Siberian Highway and Australia's Highway 1, one of the world's longest national highways, with the main route spanning 8,030 km (4,990 mi). The system was approved by the Trans-Canada Highway Act of 1949, with construction commencing in 1950. The highway officially opened in 1962, and was completed in 1971. The highway system is recognizable by its distinctive white-on-green maple leaf route markers.
-Throughout much of Canada, there are at least two routes designated as part of the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH). For example, in the western provinces, both the main Trans-Canada route and the Yellowhead Highway are part of the Trans-Canada system. Although the TCH does not enter any of Canada's three northern territories, the Trans-Canada Highway forms part of Canada's overall National Highway System, providing connections to the Northwest Territories, Yukon and theinternational border where connections can be made to the United States.
-After the war, Canada was bursting at the seams from the millions of new immigrants from all corners of the globe. In the 1950s, the railway was still king in Canada's transportation system, but the country was working to build and pave roads between the major cities fueled by the post-war growth of automobiles in Canada's cities. By 1949 the Trans-Canada Highway act was passed by Parliament right after.
-Newfoundland's decision to join Canada. It became important to connect all the provinces together by highway, and build the Canso Causeway to join Cape Breton to the Nova Scotia mainland and speed travel and shipping time to Canada's new island province.
-By 1956, the federal and provincial government came to a cost-sharing agreement to encourage the provinces to upgrade existing roadways to "Trans-Canada" standards, and receive 90% of the cost of building new stretches to fill gaps in the roadway. This was most notable in mountainous British Columbia, the rugged Canadian Shield north of Lake Superior, and across much of Newfoundland. The goal was to connect all 10 provinces by paved road by 1967, Canada's centennial year.
-By 1955, much of the roadways designated as part of the Trans-Canada was unpaved, and significant sections were not even yet built as a rough roadway
-The total cost for completing this was going to be $212 million (in 1955 dollars).
1997 figures provided by Transport Canada, and includes only the "national highway system".
-The two sections of greatest difficulty were alongside Lake Superior between Sault Ste Marie and Wawa, a gap of 265 km (165 mi), and a 147 km (91 mile) section over the Roger's Pass between Revelstoke and Golden in BC.
-In Ontario, a right of way needed to be cleared through virgin forest for 98 of the 165 miles and 25 bridges needed to be built, but in September 1960 that stretch was officially opened.
-The Rogers Pass route followed some of the early tracks of the trans-continental railway that were abandoned years ago as too steep for trains, with the addition of a number of snow sheds to protect the highway from the many winter avalanches (the area gets about 200 ft of snowfall each year) and rockslides This stretch was opened June 30, 1962, and marked the official completion of the Trans-Canada (though at that time about half the 7,770 kilometres was still gravelled). BC continued work to improve the highway through the canyon along the Fraser River by blasting several tunnels, with the final two opening in 1966. By 1963, according to the accounts of traveller Edward McCourt, most of Newfoundland was still in the process of being paved.
-Over recent years, much of the focus has been on "twinning" which puts at two lanes in each