Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
Route Number Western Distributor, Victoria Road, James Ruse Drive, Cumberland Highway, Old Windsor Road, Hawkesbury Valley Way, East Market Street, March Street, Kurrajong Road, Bells Line of Road, Chifley Road, Eddy Street, Lithgow Street, Mort Street & Main Street (State Route 40) (Decommissioned)


Route Numbering:

General Information:

State Route 40 is major route of New South Wales. The eastern section is an arterial road linking various western and inner western suburbs with Sydney's CBD. The western section is an alternative route over the Blue Mountains, connecting the state's west to Sydney.

The eastern part of the route has several features along it such as Iron Cove Bridge, Western Distributor (which is a series of viaducts connecting to several streets in the CBD of Sydney) and the Gladesville Bridge. Both the Western Distributor and Gladesville Bridge (and the associated Burns Bay Road (former SR21)) were to form part of the F3 Freeway from Sydney to the Hunter Region of NSW.

The western section of the route is quite windy and hilly once off the Cumberland Plain, as it crosses the Great Dividing Range. The line it follows dates back to the 1800s. The route passes through residential and commercial areas, as well as some rural and large tracts of forested areas.

The James Ruse Drive section of SR40 is named after the first landholder in the Parramatta area. 3

Multiplexes along the route include:

Gladesville Bridge is an arch bridge that spans the Parramatta River. At the time of its completion in 1964, Gladesville Bridge was the longest single span concrete arch ever constructed. Gladesville Bridge is the largest of a complex of three bridges, including Fig Tree Bridge and Tarban Creek Bridge, designed to carry a never built North West Freeway. 4

The current bridge replaced the original Gladesville Bridge, which was completed in 1881. It was about 300 metres to the west of the modern bridge. It featured a swing section on the southern end of the bridge that could be opened to permit sailing ships and steamers with high funnels to pass. It stood on iron cylinders with a sandstone pier at each end of the bridge. The sandstone piers are all that remain today of the original bridge. Construction on the new bridge started in 1959. 4

The original bridge was constructed of wrought iron lattice girders and opened in 1882 after four years of construction. The area was sparsely populated in the 1880s and the opening of the new bridge not only helped accessibility, it provided a new western route to Sydney via Balmain. 4

A decision to replace the original bridge was made in 1939 just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Design work began in 1942 and construction commenced in 1947. The bridge was officially opened by Hon. J.J. Cahill, MLA, Premier and Colonial Treasurer of NSW on the 30th July, 1955. 4

The ANZAC Bridge opened in 1995 and was formerly the Glebe Island Bridge. (ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). 2

The bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Australia, with a main deck length of 805 metres, including a 345 metre span between the towers. The two 128 metre towers support 128 cables, and is eight lanes wide. 2

On Remembrance Day, 11 November 1998, the New South Wales Government bestowed the bridge to the NSW Returned Serviceman’s League for re-naming as ‘The Anzac Bridge’ and unveiled a monument of a digger bowed in silent reflection. The monument is located at the western end of the bridge on the northern side. A second bronze statue, of a New Zealand digger, followed on the southern side in April 2008. 2

A handful of sand from Gallipoli rests under the foot of the digger as a permanent connection with comrades who fell and remain at the Gallipoli Battlefield in Turkey. 2

The Western Distributor is a network of motorway feeder roads linking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney CBD, Cross City Tunnel to the main arterial roads to the Western suburbs of Sydney, such as Parramatta Road (via City West Link) and Victoria Road (SR40).

When it was built, it was intended to be the southern end of the F3 Freeway, as it was where the North West Freeway was planned to finish, however due to protests from inner city residents, this plan never came to fruition. The Western Distributor was opened in stages starting in September 1972 3


Click here for the former alignment between Windsor and Rydalmere.
Click here for the former alignment between Sydney and Rozelle.

Click inside the unbroken green boxes on the map below to view a part of State Route 40.

1 Roads & Traffic Authority, Schedule of Classified Roads and State & Regional Roads, 31 January 2011
2 Roads & Traffic Authority, Signposting Guidelines
3 Sam Laybutt (OzRoads)
4 Seven Bridges Walk, Bridge History
5 Roads & Traffic Authority, Bells Line of Road corridor study Summary, November 2005
6 City of Ryde, Library
7 Roads & Traffic Authority, Anzac Bridge history
8 State Library of NSW, Arch of the Gladesville Bridge completed 1962
9 State Library of NSW, Safety scaffolding on Western Distributor
10 Department of Main Roads, The Roadmakers, A History of Main Roads in New South Wales, ISBN 0 7240 0439 4
11 Roads & Traffic Authority, RTA Oral History Program, Gladesville Bridge
12 RTA Thematic History, A component of the RTA Heritage and Conservation Register, 2nd Edition, 2006
13 Roads & Traffic Authority
14 Paul Mech
15 Roads & Traffic Authority, Inner West Busway Victoria Road

Last updated: 16-Jul-2019 1:36

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