Trans-Canada Highway

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Trans-Canada Highway shield.svg

The Trans-Canada Highway (French: Route Transcanadienne) is a federal-provincial highway system that joins the ten provinces of Canada. 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 1948,[2] with construction commencing in 1950.[3] 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. The Trans-Canada highway is often abbreviated as the TCH[citation needed].

Throughout much of Canada, there are at least two routes designated as part of the Trans-Canada Highway. For example, in the western provinces, both the main Trans-Canada route and the Yellowhead Highway are part of the Trans-Canada system.

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Jurisdiction

Canada does not have a comprehensive national highway system, as decisions about highway and freeway construction are entirely under the jurisdiction of the individual provinces. In 2000 and 2001, the government of Jean Chrétien considered funding an infrastructure project to have the full Trans-Canada system converted to freeway. Although freeway construction funding was made available to some provinces for portions of the system, the government ultimately decided not to pursue a comprehensive highway conversion. Opposition to funding the freeway upgrade was due to low traffic levels on parts of the Trans-Canada. Other provinces preferred the money going towards improving vital trade routes (often not inter-provincial).

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