|Western Distributor, The Crescent, City West Link, Dobroyd Parade, Wattle Street, Parramatta Road & Western Motorway (Metroad 4) (Decommissioned)|
Metroad 4 is the main route between the Blue Mountains and Sydney's western suburbs and Sydney's CBD. Except within the inner western suburbs of Sydney, the route parellels and in some cases uses one Australia's earliest road routes, Parramatta Road / Great Western Highway.
Road conditions vary from freeway standard through to suburban arterial. With a minimum of 2 lanes in each direction.
The route is duplexed with State Route 40 from Rozelle to Pyrmont.
Planning began for the Western Expressway in 1947, as the County of Cumberland Planning Scheme (CCPS) was being drawn up, which included a corridor from the City of Sydney at Glebe to the Gt Western Hwy at Lapstone, passing through Glebe, Haberfield, and Five Dock before joining the current route at Concord. This corridor was reserved in 1951. 1
The first section of the M4 Motorway was from Prospect to Penrith, completed by the NSW Government in the early 1970's. Various stages of the second section from Concord to Parramatta were completed during the 80's, with a missing link of approximately 10 km between Mays Hill, near Parramatta, and Prospect to connect these two sections. 1
In 1989 the NSW Government invited proposals from private enterprise to fund and construct the missing section of roadway, and upgrading a further 11 km of the F4 Freeway. Statewide Roads Limited (SWR) won the right over a 20 year period to finance and build, and then operate and maintain the Motorway, after which the Motorway reverts back to Government control at no cost. 2
The opening of the M4 Western Motorway in May 1992 included 21 major bridge structures, and the upgrade and widening of 11 kilometres of existing expressway at a cost of $245 million. The completion of this section provided uninterrupted motorway conditions between Concord and Lapstone on the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Between 1996 to 1998 an upgrade and widening of the M4 Western Motorway to 3 lanes each way from Parramatta to Penrith was completed. 2
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 1
1 Sam Laybutt (ozroads.com.au)
2 Roads & Traffic Authority
Last updated: 21:12:30 21/3/2016.
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