Alberta’s Highway System, 1962-2002
Legend & Notes
- The above animated map shows the historic development of Alberta’s primary and secondary highways systems in 10-year increments between 1962 and 2002 inclusive.
- Thick, dark red lines represent 4-lane primary or secondary highways.
- Thin, dark red lines represent 2-lane paved primary highways.
- Thin, lighter red lines represent 2-lane gravel primary highways.
- Thin black lines represent 2-lane paved secondary highways.
- Thin grey lines represent 2-lane gravel secondary highways.
- Note that the thin light (gravel primaries) and dark (paved primaries) red lines are hard to distinguish from each other in the 1962, 1972, 1982, and 1992 images.
- Also note that the secondary highway system did not come into existence until 1973 (I believe).
- Therefore, 1972’s secondary highways are an extrapolation in comparing Alberta’s 1972 and 1973 Official Road Maps.
- Finally, note that the secondary highway system extrapolation for 1962 is incorrect (it was correct at one point, but the linework vanished; will fix one of these decades).
Alberta’s Highway System in 1962
- Highway #2 was not yet 4-laned between Leduc and its junction with the old Highway #11 north of Red Deer.
- Highway #16 was the second longest twinned highway in the Province from Edmonton to Highway #43.
- Highway #3 from Lethbridge to Coaldale was 4-laned.
- The only portion of Highway #1 that was 4-laned at this time was a stretch through Calgary.
- The Mackenzie Highway (Highway #35) was complete, but was 100% gravel.
- Highway #11 did not yet extend to Banff National Park.
- Highway #63 to Fort McMurray (which had just changed its name from McMurray) did not exist.
- All or portions of entire primary highways were not yet in existence.
Alberta’s Highway System in 1972
- Highway #2 was completely 4-laned between Edmonton and Calgary. The highway was 4-laned completely from St. Albert in the north to Nanton in the south.
- Highway #16 was twinned from Edmonton to Elk Island National Park.
- Highway #1 was 4-laned from Banff National Park to Calgary. Short distances near its junction with Highway #1A east of Calgary and within Medicine Hat were twinned.
- Highway #3 from Lethbridge to Monarch/Highway #23 was 4-laned.
- Short distances of Highways #14, #15, and #28 leading into Edmonton were twinned.
- The Mackenzie Highway (Highway #35) was approximately 50% paved.
- Highway #11 was extended to Banff National Park.
- Highway #63 to Fort McMurray was complete and paving in various places was already complete.
- The alignments of north-south Highways #36 and #41 were nearly complete.
Alberta’s Highway System in 1982
- The first leg of Highway #43 was twinned from Highway #16 to Gunn/Highway #33.
- The twinning of Highway #16 was extended westward from Highway #43 to Wabamun.
- Highway #1 was completely 4-laned from Calgary to its junction with Highway #24 (west of Strathmore).
- Other major 4-laning projects had occurred within the Cities of Calgary and Edmonton (Glenmore Tr, Crowchild Tr, Whitemud Dr, and Yellowhead Tr).
- Highway #63 was extended north of Fort McMurray and the �$6-million bridge to nowhere� over the Athabasca River is complete.
- The construction of Highway #67 (now know as Highway #88) from Slave Lake to Fort Vermilion and Highway #58 is nearly complete.
- The original alignment of Highway #22 from Mayerthorpe through Drayton Valley, Rocky Mountain House, and Cochrane among others to Highway #3 is completed.
- Portions of Highway #40 have sprung up: Grande Prairie to the Wapiti River; Grand Cache to southeast of Hinton; and Highway #1 through Kananaskis Country.
- The alignments of Highways #32, #33, and #55 were complete.
Alberta’s Highway System in 1992
- The twinning of Highway #2 from St. Albert to Morinville in the north and from Nanton to Granum in the south was complete.
- Highway #16 was completely twinned from Highway #40 west of Hinton to Lloydminster with the exception of the Vegreville bypass.
- Highway #1 was completely 4-laned from west of Banff to Highway #41 near Irvine.
- Highway #16X (now #16) from east of Highway #43 to Edmonton served as a 4-lane parallel bypass of Highway #16 (now #16A) north of Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.
- Highways #63 within Fort McMurray, #2 north of Grande Prairie, #21 through Fort Saskatchewan, #60 through Devon, and #22X west of Calgary were all twinned.
- Highways #88 between Slave Lake and Fort Vermilion and #40 between Grande Prairie and Grand Cache were completed and open to the traveling public.
- Most of Alberta’s primary highways were 100% paved and major investments were made in paving secondary highways throughout the Province.
- The construction of extensions to Secondary Highways in the north were well underway, including Highways #986/686 between #35 and #88, #813 from Athabasca to Wabasca, and #881 from Lac La Biche to Anzac.
Alberta’s Highway System in 2002
- The Canamex Corridor was announced in 1995, resulting in renumbering of Highways #34 from Valleyview to Grande Prairie and #2 west of Grande Prairie to #43.
- Portions of Highway #43 in the vicinity Grande Prairie, Valleyview, Fox Creek, and Whitecourt were 4-laned.
- Highway #2 from Highway #43 to south of Sexsmith and from Granum to Highway #3 west of For Macleod was twinned.
- Highway #3 from Highway #2 through Lethbridge to Taber was completely twinned.
- Nearly all of Highway #4 was 4-laned from Lethbridge to Coutts at the U.S. border with the exception of a portion in the vicinity of Milk River.
- The Vegreville bypass was the last section of Highway #16 twinned between Highway #40 west of Hinton to Lloydminster.
- Highway #1 was completely 4-laned from Castle Mountain/Highway #93 (midway between Banff and Lake Louise) to the Saskatchewan border.
- Additional portions of Highways #63 north of Fort McMurray, #60 from Highway #16A through the Enoch Reserve, and #1A west of Calgary were 4-laned.
- The extension of Highway #11 from Red Deer to Highway #21 to the east was complete and the first 3 km of Highway #11 west of Red Deer was twinned.
- Portions of Highways #216 (Anthony Henday Dr in Edmonton) and #201 (Stoney Tr in Calgary) were under construction with a section of each already open.
- Highway #63 was extended roughly by 15 km north of the �$6-million bridge to nowhere� that was triggered by further oil sands development in the Fort McMurray area.
- The alignment of Highway #881 from Lac La Biche via Imperial Mills, Conklin, Chard (Janvier), and Anzac to Highway #63 south of Fort McMurray was open to traffic.