Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
M1 A1   Pacific Motorway, Pacific Highway, New England Highway, John Renshaw Drive, Gore Hill Freeway, Warringah Freeway, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Cahill Expressway, Eastern Distributor, Southern Cross Drive, General Holmes Drive, The Grand Parade, President Avenue, Princes Highway & Princes Motorway (M1 / A1) - Sydney to Sylvania


Route Numbering:

General Information:

M1 / A1 is the principal coastal route through New South Wales, and forms part of the circumferential route around Australia.

The route varies greatly along its length and includes sections of rural highway, urban arterial road, divided rural highway and also motorway. The route also features several tunnels, located in the inner east, inner south and lower northern suburbs of Sydney and at Yelgun and Tweed Heads, at the northern end of the route in NSW. The route passes through forest, rural, residential, commercial and industrial areas.

Built during the late 1980s, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel was built to provide additional traffic capacity across Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), and helped alleviate traffic levels on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The route also forms part of an eastern bypass of the Sydney CBD. The route is tolled.

The 2.3 kilometre Sydney Harbour Tunnel connects the Warringah Freeway on the northern side of Sydney Harbour to the Cahill Expressway, south of the harbour. It includes a one kilometre section below the harbour constructed by the immersed tube method. The Sydney Harbour Tunnel Company (SHTC) owns, operates and will maintain the Harbour Tunnel until August 2022 when it will be transferred to public ownership. 2

The route features New South Wales first ever expressway, the Cahill Expressway built in the 1950s at Circular Quay. Stage 1 of the route features a dual deck, with roadway on the top and railway under, both passing over the Circular Quay ferry terminal on Sydney Harbour. 2

The Eastern Distributor forms the rest of the eastern bypass of the Sydney CBD and was built during the 1990s as a slot freeway, which is sunken below the surface of surrounding suburbs and streets. This route also features tunnels and is tolled.

The Eastern Distributor provides a high-quality road link between the Cahill Expressway at Woolloomooloo and Southern Cross Drive at Zetland. The motorway was funded and built by Airport Motorway Limited, which now operates, maintains and repairs the motorway until 2048, when it will revert to public ownership. The motorway is operated on Airport Motorway's behalf by Leighton Contractors. 2 The Eastern Distributor bypasses up to 19 sets of traffic lights. 3 Click here for the Eastern Distributor web site.

Southern Cross Drive was built during the beginning of Sydney's freeway era, and connects the Eastern Distributor with General Holmes Drive, and features some viaducts over swampy ground located near Kingsford Smith Airport.

General Holmes Drive was an expansion of existing roads around the southeast of Kingsford Smith Airport, the international airport for Sydney. It features a dual tunnel underneath the north-south runways of the airport and located close to Botany Bay. The route connects with The Grand Parade (A1) and also South Western Motorway (M5).

The Grand Parade is a suburban arterial route that runs along the southwestern part of Botany Bay, and passes through mostly residential and commercial precincts, and as a result suffers from traffic congestion.

Suffering traffic congestion similar to The Grand Parade, President Avenue connects The Grand Parade with the Princes Highway, for the journey to Sydney southernmost suburbs and beyond.

The Princes Highway was formed from a string of roads linking Sydney to the Illawarra, and then forming a coastal route to Melbourne and into South Australia. The section covered by A1 is in 2 pieces - between Rockdale and Waterfall in Sydney, and then Yallah near Wollongong through to the Victorian Border. The route is a mix of urban arterial road, dual carriageway and also rural highway.


Preview: Description:
Reassurance Directional Sign:
Distance sign on Eastern Distributor (M1) at Moore Park, December 2013.

Image © Michael Greenslade

Reassurance Directional Sign:
Distance sign on Southern Cross Dr (M1) at Zetland, December 2013.

Image © Michael Greenslade

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign at Botany approaching South Western Mwy (M5), December 2013.

Image © Michael Greenslade

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign at Kyeemah approaching Bestic St, December 2013.

Image © Michael Greenslade

Click here for the continution of A1 between Sylvania and Waterfall
Click here for the continuation of M1 / A1 between Wahroonga and Sydney

1 Roads & Maritime Services.
2 City of Sydney.
3 Department of Main Roads, The Roadmakers, A History of Main Roads in New South Wales, ISBN 0 7240 0439 4.
4 NSW Parliament.
5 Airport Motorway Pty Ltd.
6 Home Traders Real Estate.
7 Main Roads Board, Annual Report, Volume 1, Number 1, September 1929.
8 Roads & Maritime Services.

Last updated: 22-Dec-2019 14:05

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