Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
|Pacific Highway, New England Highway, John Renshaw Drive, Southern Freeway, Mount Ousley Road & Princes Highway (National Route 1) (Decommissioned) - Former Alignment: Bradfield Highway & Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Length: 1149 km (Bradfield Hwy and Sydney Harbour Bridge: 2 km)
- Northern section: 668 km
- Southern section: 481 km
- Northern Terminus:
- Northern section: Gold Coast Highway (SR2) and Tugun Bypass (M1) at Tweed Heads West
- Southern section: Princes Highway (Metroad 1) at Waterfall
- Southern Terminus:
- Northern section: John Renshaw Drive (NH1) and New England Highway (NH15) at Beresfield
- Southern section: Princes Highway (A1) at New South Wales / Victoria border
- Miscellaneous: Continues as Princes Highway (A1) in Victoria
- Suburbs, Towns & Localities Along The Route:
- Bradfield Hwy / Sydney Harbour Bridge: Milsons Point, Kirribilli and Dawes Point
- Road Authority Internal Classification: MR632 1
- Decommissioned: 1992 (Bradfield Hwy / Sydney Harbour Bridge)
National Route 1 forms part of the main coastal route between Victoria and Queensland. The route features a mix of rural highway, arterial and freeway design standards. The route forms part of what is collectively known as Highway 1. It is Australia's coastal highway joining all mainland's state capitals and coastal towns circumnavigating the entire Australian continent. It is also the longest numbered highway in the world, covering more than 14 500 km.
In New South Wales, National Route 1 was truncated by National Highway 1 between Beresfield and Wahroonga, by Metroad 1 between Wahroonga and Waterfall and by M1 at Tweed Heads West.
NR1 was routed via Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bradfield Highway from 1955 until August 1992. No replacement number was given to the route, even though it is still a major arterial route. 2
- November 1922: The NSW State Parliament passed the Enabling Act, clearing the way for the construction of a harbour crossing from Dawes Point to Milsons Point. 3
- 28 July 1923: The first sod of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was turned at the site of the future North Sydney Railway Station by the Honourable RT Ball, Secretary
for Public Works and Minister for Railways and State Industrial Enterprises. 3
- 1924: Construction began at North Sydney with the excavation of tunnels for the railway, followed by bridges over Euroka, Bank, Fitzroy, Burton, Lavender and Arthur Streets, and retaining walls of stepped section concrete being built at Broughton and Alfred Streets, the Bradfield and Pacific Highways. 3
- 24 March 1924: Dorman Long signed the contract for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 3
- 1 December 1924: Work began at Moruya to extract granite for bridge construction, with the construction of a wharf, power house with water supply, stone dressing sheds with overhead cranes and a stone crushing and screening plant. In addition, standard gauge railway tracks were laid for two locomotive steam cranes and narrow gauge track for two petrol driven engines and tip trucks. 3
- March 1925: The foundation stone for the Southern Abutment Tower was laid. 3
- 1928: On the southern approaches, work began from Wynyard Station, with open excavation and flat top construction (for roadways), although demolitions in The Rocks had begun some years previous to this. The only span within the southern approach was over Argyle Street, where an arch bridge crosses the Argyle Cut. Ornamental retaining walls and stairs for pedestrians were constructed in Cumberland Street, with a foot tunnel to Upper Fort Street also provided. 3
- 26 October 1928: The erection of the arch began. Each side of the arch was held by 128 steel cables, anchored into the rock through horseshoe shaped tunnels placed between the first and second piers on each side of the harbour. 3
- 19 August 1930: The two spans touched for the first time. They briefly parted again as the cables contracted as they cooled, but were brought together finally at 10pm the same night. With the release of the cables, the arch underwent stress testing and final adjustments to bring the full load to bear on the two hinged bearings at the abutment tower bases. 3
- 1931: Marine navigation lights were installed on the bridge in 1931. 3
- June 1931: The creeper cranes used in the construction were dismantled and the remaining major tasks involved the completion of the pylons above the deck level and the surfacing of the deck with asphalt. 3
- 15 January 1932: The last stone, set in the northwest pylon. 3
- 21 January 1932: The last rivet on the bridge was driven. 3
- February 1932: The bridge was test loaded. To undertake this, the four rail lines were packed with 72 locomotives placed buffer to buffer, and then shifted, moved and removed in different patterns to test the stresses. The bridge passed its tests easily and was prepared for opening. On completion the bridge was the largest man-made structure in Sydney and towered over the surrounding low rise city. 3
- 19 March 1932: The Sydney Harbour Bridge was officially opened by the then Labor Premier Jack Lang. The opening day had attracted people from all across Sydney, New South Wales and beyond to witness the ceremony. Special trains had been advertised from Melbourne and Adelaide bringing people to Sydney for the big day. Once there, tickets could be purchased to cross in the first train, and members of the public could send a commemorative telegram from one of two post offices in either the south and north pylons or buy commemorative stamps of the day. 3
- December 1932 toll booths and toll bars were added. From the opening in 1932, tolls were charged from vehicles crossing the bridge. This was viewed with some consternation and objections from residents of the North Shore who had been paying an additional land tax to pay for the bridge since 1923. Toll collectors were initially installed on a traffic island with a small rail around them. 3
- 1933: The southeast pylon’s upper levels were leased to Archer Whitford who opened a fun fair, which included animal exhibits, such as a rooster with an 18 foot tail, funny mirrors and penny peep shows. Whitford lasted for nine years until 1941–1942, when the pylons were closed to the public, occupied by the military and anti-aircraft guns mounted to protect Sydney against air attack. 3
- 1949: The southeast pylon, which included a lookout/observation deck, was leased to Mrs Yvonne Rentoul, who opened a shop (with a post office from 1953) inside the top of the pylon. Mrs Rentoul was also a cat lover, and at one stage had up to 60 cats within her pylon shop, selling kittens as well as souvenirs. The shop and lookout were accessed via an elevator entered from the ground level within the southern pylon. In 1971 Mrs Rentoul’s lease expired and the lookout was closed. 3
- 1949: Air navigation lights were installed on the bridge. 3
- 1955: National Route 1 applied to Bradfield Hwy / Sydney Harbour Bridge. 2 Diffusers were added to the roadway lighting to direct light down on the roadway. Following the conversion of the tramway to a roadway, modern light standards and fittings were installed along the eastern side and then gradually fitted throughout the entire bridge and approaches. The traditional post type lanterns were left on the four sets of bridge stairs, as well as the wall bracket at Lavender Street. 3
- 28 June 1958: The last tram crossed the bridge in the evening. After the closure of the tram service, a number of physical changes to the bridge were carried out. Most notably, the tramway was converted into lanes to carry road traffic, the entrances to the Wynyard tunnels were partially blocked by the relocation of the eastern footway, while the tunnels themselves were leased to the Railway Institute for a shooting range and to the Menzies Hotel for a carpark. 3
- 1959: The toll bars were modified. 3
- 1962: Floodlighting was added as a permanent fixture on the eastern side of bridge. 3
- 1964: Floodlighting was added as a permanent fixture on the western side of bridge. Prior to this, floodlighting had been a temporary measure, with illumination on the opening night provided by the searchlights of the surrounding ships.
- 1966: The former tramway arch on the northern side was removed to allow for the connection of the Cahill Expressway and Warringah Expressway. 3
- 1970: Automatic one way toll collection and movable toll cabins were installed, along with new toll offices and staff amenities. 3
- 1972: A new southern approach was also opened with the completion of the Western Distributor which gives access to motor traffic to and from Sydney’s western and southern suburbs. The western footway was converted to a cycleway, with ramps installed on the north and south side for access. 3
- 1982: DMR reopened the southeast pylon as a museum of the bridge, accessed through the pylon via the pedestrian footway. The lookout and museum is still open to the public, and contains the contents of the original museum, relocated from the southwest pylon. 3
- 1988: Bridge flood lights were updated. 3
- 1990: Part of the northern tower was converted to accommodate the exhaust from the Harbour Tunnel.
- 1992: Bridge flood lights were updated again. 3
- August 1992: National Route 1 decommissioned along Bradfield Hwy / Sydney Harbour Bridge. 2
Cahill Expressway Lanes:
Cahill Expressway lanes approaching Sydney Harbour Bridge, Neutral Bay, November 2010.
Image © Rob Tilley
Lane Allocation Signals:
Lane allocation signals on Bradfield Hwy at Milsons Point, November 2010.
Image © Rob Tilley
Sydney Harbour Bridge:
Southbound on Bradfield Hwy at Milsons Point, July 2013.
Image © Paul Rands
Sydney Harbour Bridge:
Looking southbound, nearly at the halfway point of the deck, Milsons Point, November 2010.
Image © Rob Tilley
Changeable sign over the lanes at Dawes Point, approaching Western Distributor (former SR40), Novmember 2010. The coverplate on the York St section of the sign is covering an NR1 shield.
Image © Rob Tilley
Close up shot from the pedestrian footway of the changeable sign over the lanes at Dawes Point, approaching Western Distributor (former SR40), April 2009. The coverplate on the York St section of the sign is covering an NR1 shield.
Image © Stuart Fox
1 Roads and Traffic Authority, Schedule of Classified Roads and State & Regional Roads, 31 January 2011
2 Sam Laybutt (OzRoads)
3 Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Harbour Bridge Conservation Management Plan - 2007
Last updated: 21:58:12 7/2/2018
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