|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)|
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.
Pacific Motorway is broken into 2 sections.
The southernmost section runs between Wahroonga, in Sydney's northern suburbs to Beresfield, located west of Newcastle and is the former Sydney-Newcastle Freeway. Built in several stages, with the first commencing in the late 1960s, the route traverses some of the toughest terrain between Sydney and Newcastle and bypasses the Central Coast and majority of the populated areas in the Hunter Valley and forms part of the main route between Sydney and Brisbane.
The northernmost section runs from Brunswick Heads through to the Queensland border, and features 2 tunnels, one at Yelgun and the other at Tweed Heads, which travels under Coolangatta Airport in Queensland.
The southern section of the Pacific Motorway (formerly Sydney-Newcastle Freeway) is the major arterial highway between Sydney and Newcastle. Starting life as the Berowra-Calga Tollway, the route has been gradually extended and improved until the Palmdale / Ourimbah gap and Lengahans Drive bypass were completed in the late 90's. The route replaced several sections of very windy road between Berowra and the southern reaches of Newcastle. 2
The southern section of the motorway starts with the junction of the Pacific Highway (A1) and Pennant Hills Road (A28) at Pearce's Corner, Wahroonga in Sydney's north. From here it goes north, skirting the western edge of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park before meeting the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn. After crossing the Hawkesbury the motorway passes through the Brisbane Water National Park, crossing Mooney Mooney Creek with an impressive 480m long and 75m high bridge before reaching the first main interchange on the Central Coast at Kariong. 1
After reaching Kariong, the motorway continues through rural and semi-rural areas of the Central Coast with interchanges provided at Ourimbah, Tuggerah, Warnervale and also Kiar, near Doyalson. From the Doyalson interchange the freeway continues to the west of Lake Macquarie with interchanges near Morisset, Cessnock, Toronto and Cardiff. The Doyalson interchange is with what is known as Doyalson Link Road (formerly Motorway Link) a connection feeder to the Pacific Highway (A43), when the motorway ended at this interchange in the mid 1980s. 2
After the Cardiff interchange a link road takes traffic into Newcastle via Wallsend while the motorway continues north to reach its finish with a roundabout at the junction of Weakleys Drive and John Renshaw Drive (A1 and B68), Beresfield. From here motorists continue to Brisbane via John Renshaw Drive (A1) and the New England Highway (A1) eastbound to meet the Pacific Highway at Hexham.
The Pacific Motorway is part of the Auslink National Network, and is the major road linking Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle. It also links with the Hunter Expressway (M15), New England Highway (A43) and Pacific Highway (A1), for travel to northern New South Wales and Queensland. The Pacific Motorway (formerly Sydney-Newcastle Freeway) is a vital link for around 75 000 motorists that use the freeway daily, the majority of whom travel between the Central Coast and Hunter regions and Sydney. During weekends and school holidays, the Pacific Motorway is heavily used by motorists travelling to and returning from northern New South Wales and Queensland holiday destinations. 2
The Gore Hill Freeway was constructed along a narrow corridor on Sydney's lower north shore. It's 3.1 kilometres in length and links the Warringah Freeway at Naremburn with the Lane Cove Tunnel at Lane Cove. Originally the freeway linked with Epping Road. During construction 70 000 trees were used in the landscaping, more than was removed to build the freeway. 3
The Pacific Highway section of A1 runs between Brunswick Heads and Hexham, and also between Wahroonga and the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon. The northern section between Brunswick Heads and Hexham is a mix of dual carriageway, rural highway and urban arterial roadway. The southern section between Wahroonga and Artarmon is urban arterial standard and passes through one of Sydney's more affluent areas.
The highway traces its origins back to an early settler, George Peat, who owned the land between the Hawkesbury River and Mooney Mooney Creek. To provide access to his property, Peat began a ferry service across the Hawkesbury River in 1844 and surveyed, then constructed a road between Hornsby and Kariong in 1854. After his death in 1870, the ferry service was abandoned and the road fell into disrepair, finally closing to all traffic in 1899, following the completion of the Sydney-Newcastle railway.
Demand for a route between Sydney and Newcastle dates back to the early 20th century. When the only access was via the sea or via a long route through the town of Wiseman's Ferry. In the 1920s, the then Main Roads Board undertook a series of surveys to form an easier and more reliable route north from Sydney. In 1928 construction began on upgrading the old road and converting it to a modern standard, plus creating a new route north, utilising some of the abandoned Peat's Ferry Rd, while improving the horizontal and vertical alignments. In May 1930 the ferry service across the Hawkesbury River was re-established to service the new road until such times that a bridge became necessary. June 1930 marked the completion of the concrete surfacing.
During the time of the Hornsby to Gosford contruction, improvements were made to roads between Gosford to Newcastle as part of the link. On May 17 in 1929, the route was named as the Great Northern Highway. The work from Hornsby to Gosford cost almost £1 million, however it was money well spent, reducing the trip from Sydney to Newcastle from 9 hours to 4 ½ hours.
This road links the Pacific Highway and New England Highway with the Pacific Motorway between Beresfield and Tarro, west of Hexham, and consists entirely of dual carriageway. The road is named after the Hon. J. B. Renshaw, M.L.A., who, during the 1950s, was Minister for Local Government and Minister for Highways.
Built during the 1960s, the Warringah Freeway consists of a series of close interchanges and a large number of lanes, very reminiscent of some US freeways, and connects the Gore Hill Freeway with the Sydney Harbour Tunnel (and also the Sydney Harbour Bridge).
Formerly known as the Warringah Expressway, this section of M1 is one of Sydney's grander road engineering feats. It was originally designed to head through Sydney's north shore to the northern beaches.
The original plan for the Warringah Freeway was to have head north at Willoughby Road, through the SCEGGS playing fields, through Castlecrag and cross Middle Harbour at Sugarloaf Point / Pickering Point. From there it would continue north along the Wakehurst Pkwy. There was an EIS comissioned in 1963 for an interchange at Warringah Road & Wakehurst Parkway. There was also to be two spurs from Pickering Point into Balgowlah and another along Burnt Bridge Creek to join Condamine Street near Kenneth Road.
The Warringah Freeway also features adjustable lanes depending on traffic requirements. The western middle carriageway, which is usually northbound, becomes southbound during the morning peak (from 05:30 - 09:30). The time the change back occurs, depends on different traffic conditions. The eastern middle carriageway used to become northbound in the afternoon peak prior to 1987. This changed when construction of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel began. Because of the tunnel approach, this carriageway is now permanently southbound only.
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. 3
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. 3
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. 3 The Eastern Distributor bypasses up to 19 sets of traffic lights. 5 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.
The Princes Motorway started life as the Southern Expressway (later Freeway) and also Mount Ousley Road, and runs between Waterfall, bypassing Wollongong and ending at Yallah, in the Illawarra's southern suburbs. It is the main route between Sydney and Wollongong, and crosses the Illawarra Escarpment to the narrow coastal strip on which most of the Illawarra suburbs are built.
Multiplexes along the route include:
- 1844: Survey of a route between Hornsby and Kariong by George Peat.
- 1854: Construction of a road between Hornsby and Kariong.
- 1899: George Peat's route between Hornsby and Kariong closed, following the completion of the Sydney-Newcastle railway.
- 1920s: The then Main Roads Board undertook a series of surveys to form an easier and more reliable route north from Sydney. Reconstruction of Lane Cove Road (now Pacific Highway) between Boundary Street, Roseville and Pearces Corner, Wahroonga was undertaken in asphaltic concrete. It was the longest length of asphaltic concrete road then constructed by a local government authority. 4
- 1928: Construction began on upgrading the old road and converting it to a modern standard, plus creating a new route north, utilising some of the abandoned Peat's Ferry Rd, while improving the horizontal and vertical alignments. During the time of the Hornsby to Gosford contruction, improvements were made to roads between Gosford to Newcastle as part of the link.
- May 1930: The ferry service across the Hawkesbury River was re-established to service the new road until such times that a bridge became necessary.
- June 1930: Completion of the concrete surfacing. The work from Hornsby to Gosford cost almost £1 million, however it was money well spent, reducing the trip from Sydney to Newcastle from 9 hours to 4½ hours.
- 17 May 1929: The route was named as the Great Northern Highway.
- May 1931: After pressure from the Queensland Government, the coastal highway linking Sydney and Brisbane was named Pacific Hwy.
- 1931: The MRB built a bridge over the Nambucca River at Macksville, which replaced a vehicular ferry.
- 1934-36: Building of bridge over north arm of Bellinger River constructed at Raleigh, bridge over Terranorra Inlet of the Tweed River at Tweed Heads, bridge over the Clarence River at Mororo and the Tweed River at Barney's Point.
- 1935: First ever Australian construction of bow-string arch bridge over Shark Creek at Maclean.
- 1935: A steel lift span bridge of a new type was completed on the North Arm of the Clarence River at Mororo.
- 1936: Burringbar Range deviation and O'Sullivan's Gap upgrade Bulahdelah.
- 1936: Timber suspension bridge opened to traffic over the Hastings River near Port Macquarie.
- 1938: The highway between Murwillumbah and Mullumbimby was realigned and lifted above flood level.
- 1938: Construction of Peats Ferry Bridge at Brooklyn commenced with completion in May 1945 due to the war. A plaque on the southern end of the bridge serves as a monument to the energy and skill of the workmen.
- 1939: Two thirds of the Pacific Highway was bitumen. 5
- 1940s: Construction of lift span of bridge over Hunter River at Hexham started, bridge of Karuah River Booral, bridge over Coffs Creek near Coffs Harbour, bridge over Burringbar Creek at Burringbar, subway under the North Coast Railway Line at Crabbes Creek.
- 1948: Proposal for the opening span bridge at Swansea, south of Newcastle.
- 1949: The Commissioner for Road Transport installed a set of pedestrian actuated traffic lights on the Pacific Highway at Lindfield Railway Station. 4
- 1950s: Bridges constructed at these locations: Karuah River in Karuah, Wollomba River at Nabiac, and Macleay River in Kempsey.
- 1952: Completion of bridge over Hunter River at Hexham.
- 1956: Permanent vehicle weighing stations were established by the DMR at Gosford on the Pacific Highway and at Hexham where the Pacific Highway meets the New England Highway (now not in use). 6
- May 1960: NSW's first ever gazetting of a motorway took place, a section of the highway just under a mile in length at Mount White.
- 1961: Port Macquarie bypassed.
- August 20 1966: Opening of the bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood. Also opening of a 4.6 mile deviation in the same area. 7
- 1980s: The introduction of "S" lanes, which allowed two continuous through lanes in each direction on six lane arterial roads in the city. "S" lanes were provided on the Pacific Highway between Hornsby and St Leonards. 4
- 1989: Two major coach accidents on the Pacific Highway near Grafton (in which 20 people died) and at Clybucca near Kempsey (in which 35 people died) prompting an accelerated upgrade program to the highway.
- December 1990: Opening of stage 1 of the Herons Creek Deviation Duplication. Construction involved the provision of a northbound carriageway alongside two sections of existing single carriageway,from Stills Road to Houston Mitchell Drive and from near Ryans Road to Innes Drive, which formed part of the 18km long Herons Creek Deviation. The project replaced the single lane sections of the Pacific Highway between Herons Creek and the junction with the Oxley Highway. 8
- December 1990: Opening of stage 2 of the Herons Creek Deviation Duplication. 8
- November 1993: Construction of the Raymond Terrace Bypass commenced. 9
- 1994: Stage 1 commenced of the Bangalow Bypass Duplication. 10
- January 1995: Construction began on Raleigh Deviation. 11
- January 1996: The NSW State Government and the Federal Government agreed to jointly fund the $2.2 billion Pacific Highway Upgrading Program over a period of 10 years. The NSW State Government was to provide $1.6 billion and the Federal Government $600 million.
- December 1996: Chinderah Bypass, 5.7 km in length, opened to traffic. 12
- August 1997: Works starts on Pacific Highway upgrade between Wang Wauk and Bundacree Creek. 13
- December 1997: Taree Bypass, 14.5 km in length, partially opened to traffic. Korora Hill Reconstruction, 1.5 km in length, opened to traffic. Bangalow Bypass Duplication, 1.9 km in length, opened to traffic.
- 1998: The 7.5 kilometre dual carriageway upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Taree and Coopernook was opened to traffic. 14
- January 1998: Work started on Eungai Deviation. 15
- May 1998: Gap Road upgrade, 4 km in length, opened to traffic. 16
- June 1998: Partial opening of Brunswick Heads Bypass
- 3 July 1998: The Herons Creek Duplication, 10.5 km in length, was totally opened to traffic. 8
- August 1998: Construction of the Raymond Terrace to Karuah Upgrade commenced. 17
- 17 September 1998: Raleigh Deviation and New Bridge, 4.6 km in length, opened to traffic. 11
- October 1998: Ewingsdale to Tyagarah Realignment, 3.1 km in length, opened to traffic. 18
- 10 December 1998: Wang Wauk to Bundacree Creek, 4.8 km in length, opened to traffic. 13 Raymond Terrace Bypass, 6.6 km in length, opened to traffic. Eungai Deviation 2nd Carriageway, 4.2 km in length, opened to traffic.
- February 1999: Work commences on Ewingsdale Interchange, after a fatal crash. 19 Construction on the Tyndale realignment project commenced. 20
- October 1999: Bulahdelah to Coolongolook, 23 km in length, opened to traffic.
- 2000: The 0.8 kilometre upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Bray and Arthur Streets, Coffs Harbour to provide a dual carriageway opened to traffic. 21
- May 2000: Taree Bypass, 14.5 km in length, fully opened to traffic. Tyndale Realignment, 1 km in length, opened to traffic.
- August 2000: Bray to Arthur Street, Coffs Harbour, 0.8 km in length, opened to traffic.
- September 2000: Ewingsdale Interchange, 1.2 km in length, opened to traffic. 19
- 1 December 2000: Raymond Terrace to Karuah Dual Carriageways, 8.2 km in length, opened to traffic. 17
- 20 December 2000: Ewingsdale Interchange opened to traffic.
- May 2001: Lyons Road to Englands Road Dual Carriageways, 5.3 km in length, opened to traffic.
- July 2001: Coolongolook to Wang Wauk, 11.7 km in length, opened to traffic.
- December 2001: Tandy's Lane upgrade, 5.5 km in length, opened to traffic. 22
- August 2002: Yelgun to Chinderah Freeway, 28.6 km in length, opened to traffic. 23
- May 2004: Halfway Creek, 3.4 km in length, opened to traffic.
- 19 September 2004: Karuah Bypass, 9.8 km in length, opened to traffic. The route features a total of 11 bridges with a 200m incrementally launched bridge over the wetland to Horse Island and a 600m bridge from Horse Island over the Karuah River, 12 kilometres of guardrail and wire rope safety fencing, 24 drainage culverts, 5 dedicated and 11 non-dedicated box shaped fauna underpasses and 25 kilometres of fauna and rural fencing. 24 Karuah to Bulahdelah Section 1, 11 km in length, opened to traffic.
- 6 July 2005: Lakes Way Interchange opened to traffic. 25
- August 2005: Taree to Coopernook, 7.5 km in length, opened to traffic.
- 22 March 2006: Coopernook Bypass, 3.8 km in length, opened to traffic. 26
- 4 November 2006: Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush, 9.7 km in length, opened to traffic.
- 2007: Work started on Karuah to Bulahdelah upgrade sections 2 & 3, with 23 km of separated dual carriageway. 27
- 11 July 2007: Brunswick Heads Bypass. 8.6 km in length, opened to traffic.
- May 2008: Work commences on Ballina Bypass. 28
- 3 June 2008: Tugun Bypass opened to traffic. The 7 kilometre dual carriageway upgrade included four lanes with the provision to be upgraded to six. Grade-separated interchanges were constructed at Stewart Road, Currumbin and at the Tweed Heads Bypass, Tweed Heads West. The project included a 334 metre tunnel underneath the Gold Coast Airport's runway extension and twin bridges over Hidden Valley. 29
- September 2008: The Bonville upgrade opened to traffic. It's a 9.6 kilometre dual carriageway upgrade of the Pacific Highway from Perrys Road to Lyons Road and included a bypass of Bonville. 30
- 31 October 2011: Highway traffic in both directions was moved onto a replacement 2.5 kilometre section of highway as part of the Glenugie upgrade, which is now a completed four lane divided road. 31
- December 2009: Work begins on re-routing of Pacific Highway through Banora Point. 32
- July 2010: Coopernook to Herons Creek upgrade opened to traffic, 33 km of dual carriageway road. 33
- August 2010: Work commences on highway upgrade between Sapphire and Woolgoolga. 34 Work started on Bulahdelah Bypass. 35
- June 2010: Work starts on Kempsey Bypass. 36
- March 2011: Work starts on Herons Creek to Stills Road upgrade. 37
- December 2011: Work started on the Devil's Pulpit upgrade between Grafton and Ballina, total length, 7.3 km. 38
- May 2012: Ballina Bypass completed. 28
- September 2012: Completion of the Banora Point upgrade. 32
- 27 September 2012: Work begins on the 17 km Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Upgrade. 39
- March 2013: Kempsey Bypass completed and opened to traffic. 36
- June 2013: Completion of Bulahdelah Bypass. 35
- July 2013: Work commences on Fredrickton to Eungai upgrade. 40
- 20 August 2013: Works begin on the Frederickton to Eungai upgrade project to construct 26.5 kilometres of four lane divided highway on a new alignment to the west of the old Pacific Highway. 41
- Nov 2013: Work starts on upgrade between Pimlico and Teven. 42
- 15 January 2014: Work starts on 22 kilometres of four lane divided road, built to Class-M (motorway) standard, from south of the North Coast rail overbridge at Nambucca Heads to the existing interchange with Waterfall Way at Raleigh. 43
- 15 October 2014: Work commences on the Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade. 44
- 21 November 2014: Work commenced on the 14 km long Kundabung to Kempsey upgrade, to build 14km of four-lane divided road from south of Kundabung, where it connects to the Oxley Highway to Kundabung project. 45
- 17 December 2014: Work began on the 19.5km of four-lane divided road between Allgomera, south of Warrell Creek, and Nambucca Heads. 46
- 18 December 2015: Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade opened to traffic. 39
- December 2015: The upgrade between Tintenbar and Ewingsdale opened to traffic. 47
- 16 May 2016: Fredrickton to Eungai upgrade opened to traffic. 41
- 22 July 2016: Nambucca Heads to Urunga opened to traffic. 43
- October 2017: The 10 km section of the Wooloogla to Halfway Creek upgrade opened to traffic. Kundabung to Kempsey upgrade opened to traffic. 45
- November 2017: Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade opened to traffic. 44
- December 2017: Macksville Bypass, opened to traffic as par of the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads upgrade. 46
- 29 June 2018: The final 6 km of the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads upgrade opened to traffic. 46
- 19 May 2020: The 36 km section of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade between Glenugie and Tyndale opened to traffic. 48
- 1993: National Highway 15 replaced by National Route 1 between Tarro and Hexham.
- 2013: National Route 1 replaced by A1 and duplexed with A43.
The southern section of the Pacific Motorway (formerly the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway) replaced the Pacific Highway which was built in the 1920s along a route that had existed since 1840s, when settler George Peat cut a track to his property on the banks of the Hawkesbury River. 1
Planning began for the freeway in the 1950s, with the aim of providing a high-speed replacement to a section of the Pacific Highway which was built in the 1920s and was struggling to cope with the increased traffic volume. Furthermore it was planned that the freeway would connect to freeway systems being proposed for both Sydney and Newcastle, providing a city-to-city freeway link. However, due to several reasons the goal and route of the freeway changed significantly so that today it serves to bypass Newcastle rather than go into it. 2
Firstly, the route between Mount White and Kariong was originally planned to go further east than the current route with an easier crossing of Mooney Mooney Creek. By the time that construction was to begin on this section resistance from the National Parks and Wildlife Service to the proposed route forced the government to take a route through Calga which at the time would have formed part of a route to Singleton. 2
The route through Wyong Shire changed as well; instead of passing along the western edge of the Tuggerah Lakes development in that area resulted in the freeway moving further west with a link road being constructed to meet the Pacific Highway near Doyalson. 2
Perhaps the most significant effect on the freeway's route and its connections was the anti-freeway movement of the 1970s. Strong public resistance to freeways being constructed within cities along with less than favourable results from government inquiries resulted in unconstructed freeway projects being cancelled and those under construction being revised or cut short. For the then Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, this meant that the connecting Lane Cove Valley and North-Western Freeways in Sydney would not be built - forcing traffic to travel along the Pacific Highway between Wahroonga and the city. In addition, the freeway would now go to the west of Lake Macquarie rather than the east and bypass Newcastle. Sections of A37 (formerly State Route 123), one of the two expressway routes that the freeway would have connected to in Newcastle, have been constructed, while the freeway route between Belmont and Bennetts Green and the connecting expressway route to Merewether are still reserved with the possibility that they could be constructed in the future. 2
A plaque near the former Mooney Mooney toll plaza (now ambulance station), commemorating the Hawkesbury River to Mt White section of the route, reads as follows: 1
Sydney - Newcastle Road
The first pioneer trade directly connecting Sydney and areas north of the Hawkesbury River was established in 1844 when a ferry service between Kangaroo Point and Mooney Mooney Point was connected by George Peat. The rough tracks north of the River lead to Wollombi, Cessnock, Maitland and Newcastle. Prior to 1844 travellers to and from the areas north of The Hawkesbury River had to travel a long and circuitous route via Windsor and Wisemans Ferry. With the opening of the Railway between Sydney and Newcastle in 1889, the Northern Road via Peats Ferry fell into disuse. Direct Road access from Sydney to Newcastle was re-established by the Main Roads Board in 1930 with the opening to traffic of a new motor road constructed from Hornsby to Gosford as part of the Pacific Highway and the provision of a vehicular ferry service across the Hawkesbury River. The road bridge which replaced the ferry service was completed in 1945. The Toll work from Hawkesbury River to Mount White approximately 5 ¾ miles opened to traffic on 15th December 1965, is ultimately to form part of an expressway between Sydney and Newcastle which will replace the Pacific Highway as the principal arterial road between these cities. It is the first major rural expressway construction to be undertaken in New South Wales.
The Hon. P.H. Morton, MLA
Minister for Highways
J.A.L. Shaw D.S.O., B.E.
Commissioner for Main Roads
- April 1963: Construction begins on a 7 km section of dual carriageways north from the Hawkesbury River. This section was opened as a toll road in 1965. The toll was removed around 1990 when the Federal Government decreed that all National Highways should be toll free. 1
- May 1965: Work starts on the Hawkesbury-Calga section of the Sydney-Newcastle Expressway.
- 15 December 1965: The Hawkesbury-Calga section of the Sydney-Newcastle Expressway was completed. 49 The length constructed was 9.2 miles, to a standard of 65 MPH. The work included the relocation of 3½ miles of the Pacific Highway. Other work included movement of over 5.4 million cubic yards of earth, mostly sandstone rock. The cost was $15.5 million. Click here for a pop up list of the original tolls. 50
- 1968: The planned route of the freeway had been revised to pass to the west of Wyong. Further investigations were undertaken to re-examine the route north of Wyong. These supported a location to the west of Lake Macquarie, with link roads to Doyalson and Newcastle.
- 12 December 1968: Opening of Berowra to Hawkesbury River section as a toll road. This made use of automatic collection of tolls for the first time in NSW. 2 Machines were installed at the Berowra toll plaza, and 2 more later on at the Mooney Mooney toll plaza. The installation of these machines proved popular, with 47% of all vehicles using the machines during 1969 and 1970. 5
- October 1973: Completion of the current 6 lane Hawkesbury River bridge. Department of Main Roads, F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway Between Calga and Somersby. At this time the toll from each of the north and south sections open (20¢ for each section) was combined with the new bridge (which linked both sections) for a toll of 50¢. This was collected at the existing Berowra toll booths. 1
- 1974: The freeway between Berowra and Calga was adopted as part of the National Highway between Sydney and Brisbane. Other Freeway sections were adopted later. This meant the Federal Government would fund future work on the National Highway, thus eliminating the need for future sections of the Freeway to become tollways.
- December 1983: The Somersby to Wallarah Creek section of the freeway opens. 1
- February 1984: Work commenced on the Berowra to Wahroonga section of the route, linking the then existing Freeway at Berowra to the Sydney road network at the Pacific Highway and Pennant Hills Road, near Pearces Corner, Wahroonga.
- 14 December 1986: Calga to Somersby section of Pacific Mwy completed at a cost of $80 million, it was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon R J L Hawke, AC, MP. The 15 km section of the route features the spectacular twin bridges over Mooney Mooney Creek. 49
- 20 September 1987: The 13 km section of motorway between Wallarah Creek and Morisset opened to traffic.
- 29 March 1988: The 13 km section of Morisset to Freemans Interchange section opened to traffic.
- December 1988: 15.5 km of freeway opened to traffic between Berowra and the Sydney suburb of Wahroonga, with the official opening on the 19th March 1989. 1
- December 1990: Freeway completed from Wallarah Creek to Palmer's Road. 1
- December 1993: Palmer's Road to Minmi section opened. 1
- December 1997: "Missing link" between Ourimbah and Kangy Angy opened (this stayed as a remnant of the old highway with traffic controlled by a roundabout until the upgrade was complete) 1
- December 1998: Final stage of freeway opened between Minmi and John Renshaw Drive, Beresfield. 2
- December 2004: Completion of widening between Calga and Jolls Bridge. 1
- April 2006: Hi-tech wet weather speed limit system designed to monitor weather conditions and automatically reduce and enforce the speed limit in wet weather, worth $2.3 million, implemented between the Hawkesbury River and Mount White. 1
- September 2008: Opening of stage one of the widening of the freeway to three lanes in each direction between Cowan and Mt Colah, 11.5 km in length. 51
Click here for an old DMR issued brochure on Expressway Etiquette, which includes a map of the (former) tollway from Berowra to Calga.
- 1992: Gore Hill Freeway completed to coincide with the opening of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. 52
- 2008: Transit lanes replace 1 traffic lane in each direction on the Gore Hill Fwy. 52
- 1968: Opening of the then Warringah Expressway. 53
- 1978: Completion of the extension of the Warringah Freeway from Cammeray, to Willoughby Road Naremburn. 54
- 1987: Construction commenced on the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. 52
- 31 August 1992: The Sydney Harbour tunnel opened to traffic. 1
- 24 March 1958: The Cahill Expressway started as a distributor for traffic from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Eastern Sydney and opened to traffic by the Premier JJ Cahill. 55
- 1 March 1962: The second section of the Cahill Expwy opened to traffic. Extending from the overhead road at Circular Quay to Sir John Young Crescent at Woolloomooloo. 52
- 26 June 1997: The Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning granted approval for construction of the proposed Eastern Distributor. 52
- 19 December 1999: Opening of the Eastern Distributor. 54
- 1968-1969: The DMR laid a deep asphalt pavement on Southern Cross Drive, one of the earliest uses of this surface in Australia. 1
- 1990s: Southern Cross Drive widened from 4 to 6 lanes. 52
- March 1964: Mount Ousley Road was connected to the now former F6 Freeway at Gwynneville.
- 1975: Introduction of a driver aid system on the then Southern Freeway between Waterfall and Bulli Tops. It was operated from the offices adjacent to the toll booths at Waterfall. Click here for the brochure explaining how to use the system.
- 1858: First bridge over Macquarie Rivulet at Albion Park Rail.
- 1881: Construction of the Nowra Bridge over the Shoalhaven River
- 7 June 1926: The Princes Highway comes under a federal and state government £ for £ funding scheme, thus recognizing the importance of the highway as major route.
- August 1920: Official opening of Princes Highway performed at Warragul in Victoria. The formation of the Princes Highway is from existing roads being renamed, after the visit to Australia in 1920 of the Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VIII, and after abdicating, the Duke of Windsor).
- 1 July 1928: Princes Highway became a state highway. 56
- 1929: Construction of Tom Uglys Bridge. 4
- 1931: Highway moved from route through Oak Flats and Shellharbour to Albion Park to Dunmore route.
- 1932: Completion of steel truss and bascule lift span bridge over the Wagonga River at Narooma. 7
- 1935: Construction of pre-stressed concrete bridge at Dignams Creek. 57
- 1936: Construction of deviations between Nowra and Batemans Bay, other deviations in this period include various sites including Tomerong, Stewarts and Luncheon Creeks, Myrtle Gully, Conjola, Ulladulla (East Lynne to Batemans Bay), straightening of highway between Nowra and Batemans Bay, including 22 new concrete bridges in that section.
- 1939: By the middle of the year, 300 miles (or 50% of the then highway) had been paved with bitumous surface.
- 1950: Completion of road upgrade between Batemans Bay and Moruya.
- 1955: Opening of steel girder and concrete bridge over Jerramadra Creek near Batemans Bay.
- 21 November 1956: Bridge built by the Department of Main Roads over the Clyde River at Bateman's Bay was officially opened for traffic by the Hon. J. B. Renshaw, M.L.A., Minister for Local Government and Minister for Highways. The bridge replaced the only remaining vehicular ferry on the Princes Highway between Sydney and the Victorian border.
- 1957: First post-tensioned concrete bridges built by the DMR were completed on the Princes Highway over Corunna Lake and Nangudga Lake near Narooma. 7
- 1981: Duplication of Nowra Bridge.
- 17 October 1987: Duplication of Tom Uglys Bridge complete. Southbound traffic assigned to the new bridge, and the old bridge was assigned to northbound traffic. 4
- November 2003: Work begins on North Kiama Bypass. 56
- 26 November 2005: North Kiama Bypass was officially opened. The road was opened to traffic on Monday 28 November. It improved safety and travel conditions by eliminating a winding section of the highway at Minnamurra as well as removing through traffic in residential streets in Bombo, Kiama Downs and Minnamurra. 58
- 2007: Commencement of construction of a new crossing of the Pambula River. Also commencement of construction of the new section of the Princes Highway between Oak Flats and Dunmore.
- 16 March 2008: Replacement bridge over Pambula River opened to traffic. 59 Work started on upgrading Princes Hwy to 4 lanes between Forest Road at South Nowra and Jervis Bay Road at Falls Creek. 60
- September 2008: Conjola Creek Bridge and approaches (Stage 1 of Conjola Mountain Upgrade) opened to traffic. 61
- October 2008: A northbound on-ramp was opened to traffic on the Kiama Bypass. The work involved the construction of a new ramp onto the Princes Highway from Bland Street, construction of a 128m long concrete retaining wall and construction of a new roundabout on Bland Street. 62
- February 2009: A southbound off-ramp opened to traffic on the Kiama Bypass. The work involved constructing a new ramp off the Princes Highway on South Kiama Drive, relocating a water main and construction of an acceleration lane onto South Kiama Drive. 62
- 21 October 2009: The $108 million Oak Flats to Dunmore upgrade of the Princes Highway was opened to traffic. The upgrade provided four lanes of divided carriageway, two lanes in each direction with a grade separated interchange linked to Shellharbour Road. 63
- April 2010: The realignment of the Princes Highway at Conjola Mountain (Stage 2 of Conjola Mountain Upgrade) was completed and opened to traffic. 61
- 31 January 2011: Work began on safety improvements south of Lattas Point Road near Batemans Bay. Work included changes to a southbound overtaking lane, installation of concrete median barrier and a right turning bay. 64
- March 2011: Work started on replacement bridge over Nangudga Lake near Narooma. 63
- November 2011: Construction on the upgrade started at South Nowra to provide consistent four lane conditions on the Princes Highway between Bomaderry and Jervis Bay Road. 65
- 16 December 2011: Completion of replacement bridge over Nangudga Lake. 66
- 16 January 2013: Opening of replacement bridge over Victoria Creek and associated realignment works at Central Tilba. 67
- June 2012: Work commenced on Bega Bypass. 68
- November 2012: Work started on Princes Hwy upgrade between Gerringong and Toolooja. 69
- January 2013: Victoria Creek upgrade completed. 70
- June 2013: Construction of roundabout at the junction of Princes Hwy and South Head Rd at Moruya. 71
- October 2013: Bega bypass completed. The 3.5 kilometre, two lane bypass features two new bridges and removed heavy vehicle traffic from the town centre. 70
- March 2014: South Nowra upgrade completed. 70
- September 2014: Mount Ousley acceleration lane (northbound) completed. 70
- August 2015: Gerringong upgrade from Mount Pleasant to Toolijooa Road opened to traffic. 72
- July 2016: Termeil Creek upgrade completed. The upgrade provides a new, straighter 1.6 kilometre stretch of the Princes Highway and also features a new Termeil Creek Bridge that is 5.3 metres wider and 26 metres longer than the previous bridge. 70
- June 2017: Mount Ousley heavy vehicle rest area upgrade (northbound) completed. 70
- 18 June 2017: The Foxground and Berry bypass has opened to traffic. It provides a four-lane highway (two lanes in each direction) with median separation for 12.5 kilometres of the Princes Highway between Toolijooa Road and just south of Andersons Lane. The upgrade included a bypass of the existing winding highway at Foxground and a bypass of Berry with access ramps at the north and south of the town. 73
- November 2017: Foxground and Berry bypass completed. 70
- March 2018: Completion of the new Burrill Lake Bridge on the Princes Highway, just south of Ulladulla. The southern section of the old bridge has been transformed into a foreshore park. 74
- September 2018: Works commence on the Berry to Bomaderry upgrade. 75
- October 2018: Work commences on the replacement Batemans Bay Bridge. 76
- 4 February 2019: Work starts on Albion Park Rail Bypass. The project included 13 bridges and about a million cubic metres of earthworks. 77
- April 2019: Dignams Creek upgrade south of Narooma, completed. The upgrade provides an intersection at Dignams Creek Road, 800 metres of widened highway, two kilometres of new road, two new bridges, and a new wildlife crossing. 70
- 18 May 2020: First bridge of the Albion Park Rail Bypass project opened to traffic at Albion Park. The bridge will become the southbound exit ramp for motorists travelling to Albion Park when the project is completed. 78
- 19 June 2020: Major work on the Nowra Bridge project officially started on the southern foreshore of Nowra where the new bridge will be constructed and pushed out into its final position. 79
1 Roads & Maritime Services.
2 Sam Laybutt (Ozroads).
3 City of Sydney.
4 Roads & Maritime Services.
5 Department of Main Roads, The Roadmakers, A History of Main Roads in New South Wales, ISBN 0 7240 0439 4.
6 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1956.
7 Roads & Traffic Authority, Thematic History, 2nd Edition, 2006.
8 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Herons Creek Deviation Duplication.
9 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Raymond Terrace Bypass.
10 Roads & Maritime Services,Projects, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Completed Projects, Bangalow Bypass Duplication.
11 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour, Completed projects, Raleigh Deviation.
12 Roads and Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Completed Projects, Chinderah Bypass.
13 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Wang Wauk to Bundacree Creek.
14 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Taree to Coopernook.
15 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour, Completed projects, Eungai Deviation.
16 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Coffs Harbour to Ballina, Completed Projects, Gap Road.
17 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Raymond Terrace to Karuah.
18 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Completed Projects, Ewingsdale to Tyagarah Realignment.
19 Roads & Maritime Services, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Project Fact Sheet, Ewingsdale Interchange.
20 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Coffs Harbour to Ballina, Completed projects, Tyndale Realignment.
21 Roads and Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Coffs Harbour to Ballina, Completed Projects, Bray - Arthur St, Coffs Harbour.
22 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Completed Projects, Tandy's Lane.
23 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Completed projects, Yelgun to Chinderah.
24 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Karuah Bypass.
25 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, The Lakes Way interchange.
26 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Coopernook Bypass.
27 Roads & Maritime Services, Karuah to Bulahdelah upgrade sections 2 & 3, Community Update, August 2007.
28 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Coffs Harbour to Ballina, Ballina Bypass.
29 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Completed Projects, Tugun Bypass.
30 Roads and Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour, Completed projects, Bonville upgrade.
31 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Coffs Harbour to Ballina, Completed projects, Glenugie upgrade.
32 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Ballina To Tweed Heads, Banora Point.
33 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Completed projects, Coopernook to Herons Creek.
34 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour To Ballina.
35 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Bulahdelah upgrade.
36 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour, Kempsey Bypass.
37 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, Hexham to Port Macquarie, Herons Creek to Stills Road Upgrade.
38 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour To Ballina, Devil's Pulpit Upgrade.
39 Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Projects, Pacific Highway - Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Upgrade Pacific Highway - Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Upgrade
40 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway upgrade,Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour, Frederickton to Eungai.
41 Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Projects, Pacific Highway - Frederickton to Eungai Upgrade
42 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Coffs Harbour To Ballina, Pimlico to Teven.
43 Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Projects, Pacific Highway - Nambucca Heads to Urunga
44 Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Projects, Pacific Highway – Oxley Highway to Kundabung
45 Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Projects, Pacific Highway – Kundabung to Kempsey
46 Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Projects, Pacific Highway - Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads
47 NSW Government, Pacific Highway Upgrade web site, Ballina to Border
48 Australian Government, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Media Releases, Final section of Pacific Highway upgrade nears finish line, 18 May 2020
49 Gosford City Council.
50 Department of Main Roads, Inter-City Expressway, Hawkesbury River-Calga Tollway brochure.
51 Office of the NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.
52 NSW Parliament.
53 North Sydney Council.
54 Home Traders Real Estate.
55 Airport Motorway Pty Ltd.
56 Main Roads Board, Annual Report, Volume 1, Number 1, September 1929.
57 Construction of bridge over Victoria Creek at Central Tilba. Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Princes Highway upgrade, Victoria Creek.
58 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Southern region, Completed projects, North Kiama Bypass.
59 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Southern region, Completed projects, Pambula River Bridge.
60 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Southern region, Completed projects, Forest Road to Jervis Bay Road.
61 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Southern region, Completed projects, Conjola Mountain.
62 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Southern region, Completed projects, Kiama Bypass access ramps.
63 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Southern region, Completed projects, Oak Flats to Dunmore.
64 NSW Government, Media Release, $2.5 Million Project to Improve Road Safety South of Batemans Bay, 25 January 2011
65 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Princes Highway upgrade, Nangudga Lake Bridge replacement.
66 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Princes Highway upgrade, South Nowra.
67 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Princes Highway upgrade, Victoria Creek.
68 Roads & Maritime Services, Bega Bypass, Community Update, December 2012.
69 Roads & Maritime Services, Gerringong Upgrade, Community Update, November 2012.
70 NSW Government, Roads & Martime Services, Princes Highway upgrade program, Progress update, March 2020
71 Roads & Maritime Services, Projects, Princes Highway upgrade, South Head Road.
72 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Gerringong upgrade - Princes Highway upgrade
73 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Foxground and Berry bypass
74 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Burrill Lake Bridge - Princes Highway upgrade
75 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Berry to Bomaderry - Princes Highway upgrade
76 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project
77 Illawarra Mercury, Shovels hit the dirt in long-awaited Albion Park Rail Bypass
78 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Albion Park Rail bypass - Princes Highway upgrade
79 NSW Government, Roads & Maritime Services, Nowra Bridge project - Princes Highway upgrade
Last updated: 30-Jun-2020 2:02
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