Pacific Motorway (Sydney–Newcastle)

Last updated

M1 Pacific Motorway

F3 Freeway / Sydney–Newcastle Freeway / Sydney–Newcastle Expressway

Sydney - Newcastle freeway north bound at Berowra.jpg
View northbound at Berowra
Australia New South Wales relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
SSW end
Red pog.svg
NNE end
Coordinates
General information
Type Freeway
Length127.1 km (79 mi)
Opened15 December 1965
Gazetted 1 February 2013 [1] [2]
HistoryFurther stages opened up until 1998
Route number(s)
  • New South Wales alphanumeric route M1.svg M1 (2013-present)
  • (Entire Length)
Former
route number
  • Australian national highway 1.svg National Highway 1
  • (1974 [3] -2013)
  • F3 (unsigned)
  • (1973 [4] -unknown)
Major junctions
SSW end
 

Bobbin Head Road

NNE end
Location(s)
Major suburbs / towns
Highway system

The M1 Pacific Motorway, also known by the former names F3 Freeway, Sydney–Newcastle Freeway, and Sydney–Newcastle Expressway; is a 127 km (79 mi) stretch of freeway linking Sydney to the Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter regions of New South Wales. It is part of the AusLink road corridor between Sydney and Brisbane. The name "F3 Freeway", reflects its former route allocation, but is commonly used by both the public and the government to refer to the roadway long after the route allocation itself was no longer in use. [5]

Controlled-access highway Highway designed exclusively for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow and ingress/egress regulated

A controlled-access highway is a type of highway which has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow ingress- and egress-regulated. Common English terms are freeway, motorway and expressway. Other similar terms include Interstate and parkway. Some of these may be limited-access highways, although this term can also refer to a class of highway with somewhat less isolation from other traffic.

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Newcastle, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the local government areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council.

Contents

Route

At its southern end, the freeway starts at Pennant Hills Road, Wahroonga, near its junction with the Pacific Highway (Pearces Corner) in Sydney's north. It heads north, skirting the western edge of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, running parallel with the railway line until it descends to the Hawkesbury River, crossing at Kangaroo Point in Brooklyn. Immediately north of the river, the Hawkesbury River interchange provides access to Brooklyn and Mooney Mooney before the road climbs. At Mount White there are major heavy vehicle checking stations on both northbound and southbound carriageways, to assess compliance and roadworthiness of trucks.

Pennant Hills Road highway in Sydney

The Pennant Hills Road, a 15-kilometre (9.3 mi) section of the Cumberland Highway (A28), is a major urban highway located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The road links the suburb of Wahroonga in the northeast, to the major central business district of Parramatta in the southwest.

Pacific Highway (Australia) highway in New South Wales and Queensland

The Pacific Highway is a 790-kilometre-long (490 mi) national highway and major transport route along the central east coast of Australia, with the majority of it being part of Australia's national route 1.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a protected national park that is located in New South Wales, Australia. The 14,977-hectare (37,010-acre) national park is situated 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Sydney located largely within the Ku-ring-gai, Hornsby, and the Northern Beaches Council local government areas. The villages of Cottage Point, Appletree Bay, and Bobbin Head are located within park boundaries. An isolated portion of the park, Barrenjoey Headland, is located to the north of Palm Beach east of the primary park body and is home to Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

The freeway passes through the Brisbane Water National Park, and the Calga interchange gives access to Peats Ridge.The freeway then turns east to cross Mooney Mooney Creek by way of the 480 m (1,575 ft) long, 75 m (246 ft) high Mooney Mooney Bridge before it reaches the first major interchange on the Central Coast at Kariong.

Brisbane Water National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Brisbane Water National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 11,506-hectare (28,430-acre) national park is situated 47 kilometres (29 mi) north of Sydney, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Woy Woy, and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Gosford.

Calga is a suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, located 62 kilometres (39 mi) north of Sydney. It is part of the Central Coast Council local government area.

The Mooney Mooney Creek, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.

After Kariong, the freeway continues through rural and semi-rural areas of the Central Coast with interchanges at Ourimbah, Tuggerah, Warnervale and Kiar, near Doyalson. From the Doyalson interchange the freeway continues to the west of Lake Macquarie with interchanges near Morisset, Cessnock, Toronto and West Wallsend.

Ourimbah, New South Wales Suburb of Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia

Ourimbah is a small township and a suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, located about 78 kilometres (48 mi) north of the Sydney CBD. The township today consists of small scattered local shops and businesses along the Pacific Highway, as well as the Central Coast campus of the University of Newcastle. Ourimbah had a population of 4,162 at the 2011 census.

Tuggerah is a developing suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, situated on the Main North Line railway and Sydney-Newcastle Freeway approximately 90 km north of Sydney. It is the Business Hub, Major Shopping Area and Financial District for the Central Coast Council. It is a mixture of semi-rural, Residential, and light industrial. Historically it was, like much of the Wyong District a dairy area, which currently still has the Pioneer Dairy Wetlands. There was an airstrip for some years which has now been built over. The Wyong South sewerage plant is also located in Tuggerah.

Warnervale, New South Wales Suburb of Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia

Warnervale is a town in the Australian state of New South Wales. It lies approximately 95 km north of the Sydney CBD, located west of Tuggerah Lake, a large shallow coastal lake, and just north of Wyong.

At the West Wallsend interchange the Newcastle Link Road (A15) takes traffic into Newcastle via Wallsend and also connects with the M15 Hunter Expressway towards Kurri Kurri and Singleton, while the freeway continues north to end at the roundabout at the junction of Weakleys Drive and John Renshaw Drive, Beresfield. From here traffic bound for Highway 1 takes John Renshaw Drive and the New England Highway eastwards to meet the Pacific Highway at Hexham, and Weakleys Drive connects with the New England Highway towards Maitland.

Newcastle Link Road road in New South Wales, Australia

Newcastle Link Road is a limited-access road that links Newcastle, New South Wales to the Pacific Motorway and Sydney.

Wallsend, New South Wales Suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Wallsend is a western suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Newcastle's central business district. It is part of the City of Newcastle local government area.

Hunter Expressway freeway in New South Wales

The Hunter Expressway is a 39.5-kilometre (24.5 mi) long dual carriageway freeway in New South Wales, Australia. It was previously known as the F3 to Branxton link or Kurri Kurri Corridor during the planning stage. It has two lanes in each direction, running generally north west from the Pacific Motorway at the Newcastle Link Road interchange to the eastern end of the Belford Bends Deviation on the New England Highway north of Branxton. The road allows traffic to bypass the Maitland area, Lochinvar, Greta and Branxton. The expressway opened on 22 March 2014.

Between Wahroonga and Ourimbah the freeway passes through rugged sandstone country, particularly as it descends to and ascends from the Hawkesbury River. This section of the freeway is characterised by deep cuttings and extensive embankments.

Approximate road distances (in kilometres) from Sydney of towns and cities along the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (and Brisbane) NSWM1.png
Approximate road distances (in kilometres) from Sydney of towns and cities along the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (and Brisbane)
Jolls Bridge, north of the Hawkesbury River Jolls Bridge on the F3 Freeway - north of Hawkesbury River, N.S.W..jpg
Jolls Bridge, north of the Hawkesbury River
View southbound at Berowra Sydney - Newcastle freeway south bound at Berowra.jpg
View southbound at Berowra
Southbound on the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, approaching the Mooney Mooney Bridge Mooney Mooney Bridge.jpg
Southbound on the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, approaching the Mooney Mooney Bridge

History

Planning for the freeway began in 1952, with the aim of providing a high-speed replacement for a section of the Pacific Highway that had been built in 1925–30 which was struggling to cope with the increased traffic. It was planned that the freeway would connect to the freeway systems being proposed for both Sydney and Newcastle, providing a city-to-city freeway link.

The route between Mount White and Kariong was originally planned to be further south than the route as built, with an easier crossing of Mooney Mooney Creek. By the time that construction on this section was to begin, resistance from the National Parks & Wildlife Service to the proposed route forced the Department of Main Roads to take a route through Calga, using part of the first stage of a proposed freeway route to Singleton which had been built the 1960s. That scheme has never been further developed.

The route through Wyong Shire also changed; instead of passing east of Wyong along the western edge of the Tuggerah Lakes, development in that area forced the freeway to be moved to the west of Wyong, with link roads being constructed to meet the Pacific Highway near Doyalson and Tuggerah.

In addition, the freeway was revised to go to the west of Lake Macquarie rather than the east, and thereby bypass Newcastle. One of the reasons for this change of location was the issue of connectivity to the Pacific Highway north of Newcastle, as the route of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass, which would have provided a northern extension of the freeway, is problematic in terms of its northern terminus point at Sandgate not easily allowing for a northward freeway-standard route to join to the Pacific Highway.

The sections of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from the Pacific Highway at Bennetts Green to Kotara and from Jesmond to Sandgate have since been constructed, while the original freeway route between Belmont and Bennetts Green and then northward to the Pacific Highway at Merewether Heights is still reserved from development, with the possibility that it could be constructed in the future.

The major stages in the construction of the freeway were: [6]

In August 2013, road signs were changed to show the new M1 marker and the new name "Pacific Motorway" as part of a new statewide alpha numeric route scheme. [5]

Upgrades and proposed connections

Core sampling in preparation for construction of the Hunter Expressway F3CoreSampling.JPG
Core sampling in preparation for construction of the Hunter Expressway

Strong public resistance in the 1970s to freeways being constructed within cities and unfavourable outcomes of government inquiries resulted in several freeway proposals in Sydney being abandoned. This included the connecting the Lane Cove Valley and North Western Expressways, which means that the Pacific Highway (a six lane urban arterial) continues to be the connecting route between the freeway's southern terminus at Wahroonga and the city centre.

However plans are currently being developed for extensions at both ends of the M1:

"F3" designation

The northbound and southbound cafes at the Warnervale interchange are called "Cafe F3", reflecting the road's former route allocation and its common name. Cafe F3 on F3 Freeway.jpg
The northbound and southbound cafes at the Warnervale interchange are called "Cafe F3", reflecting the road's former route allocation and its common name.

In addition to the National Highway 1 designation, the freeway at one stage carried the Freeway Route 3 (F3) designation. This route numbering system, introduced in 1971, was to provide distinctive route numbering and signage for freeways in Sydney and the surrounding areas. Although the route was never signed with the F3 route marker (the numbering system was removed in the late 1980s), the route is still often referred to as the F3 Freeway, with this title being used not only colloquially but on state and federal government documents and web sites and some road signs.

Traffic disruption

Other than the Pacific Highway, which the freeway has superseded, the freeway is the only direct route between Sydney and the Central Coast, and is the major road route for road transport from Sydney to the Hunter region, northern NSW and Queensland. The freeway thus carries a heavy mix of commuter traffic, road freight transport, and (periodically) holiday and recreational travellers. It often suffers from traffic disruptions, generally associated with traffic volume and congestion related to on-road breakdowns and vehicle accidents, or natural disasters (in particular, bushfire). [16] [17]

In addition traffic on the freeway is frequently affected by vehicle crashes, often involving trucks. [18] [19] These events have encouraged the NSW motoring organisation NRMA to call for more freight to be moved by rail to reduce the number of trucks using the freeway. [20]

Bushfires have caused closure of the freeway and the nearby railway line and Pacific Highway between Sydney and the Hawkesbury River on a number of occasions. One such event of this type was recorded on 21 and 22 January 2007, when a fire broke out in the adjoining Kuring-gai Chase National Park. The fire forced the closure of the two roads and the railway line between Sydney and the Central Coast, resulting in extended disruption to traffic flow.[ citation needed ]

Because of the frequency of these disruptions to traffic flow, arguments for a second major freeway north from the Sydney metropolitan area continue to be pushed forward. [10] [21] However topography and resultant cost rules this out for practical purposes, other than indirect routes crossing the Hawkesbury in the vicinity of Wiseman's Ferry, some 30 km upstream of the current crossing.

Following criticism of significant delays due to accidents and blockages, [22] the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) is in the process of constructing a $28 million emergency plan for the freeway which involves development of a 40 km/h contraflow traffic scheme to allow vehicles to travel around an accident. [23]

In addition, the upgrade between Tuggerah and Doyalson (commenced 11/10/2017). Traffic flow has had reduced in peak periods. This work is not due to be finished until late 2020.

Traffic volume

The Annual average daily traffic (AADT) data from the Roads & Traffic Authority showed a decline in traffic volume on the freeway near its southern end at Wahroonga, from 78,600 in 2002 to about 76,600 in 2005 and then to 75,800 in 2006. [10]

The 2004 AADT figures for other locations on the freeway include 73,400 at Mooney Mooney, just north of the Hawkesbury River bridge, 60,100 near Wyong, 38,500 near Wyee, 27,000 near Freemans Waterhole and 33,000 near its northern terminus at Beresfield. [24]

Interchanges

LGALocationkmmiDestinationsNotes
Hornsby Shire Wahroonga 0.000.00New South Wales alphanumeric route A28.svg Pennant Hills Road (Cumberland Highway) (A28)
Hornsby Shire / Ku-ring-gai Council Wahroonga 4.83.0New South Wales alphanumeric route A1.svgNew South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svg Pacific Highway (B83)Wahroonga Interchange
Hornsby Shire Mount Colah 106.2New South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svg Pacific Highway (B83)Mount Colah Interchange
Cowan New South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svg Pacific Highway (B83)Berowra Interchange
City of Gosford Mooney Mooney New South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svg Pacific Highway (B83)Hawkesbury River Interchange
Mount White New South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svg Pacific Highway (B83)Mount White Interchange
Calga New South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svgAustralian Tourist Drive 33.svg Peats Ridge Road, Pacific Highway (B83)Calga Interchange
Somersby New South Wales alphanumeric route B83.svg Central Coast Highway (B83) / Wisemans Ferry RoadKariong Interchange
Peats Ridge RoadSomersby Interchange
Wyong Shire Ourimbah Pacific Highway Ourimbah Interchange
Mardi / Tuggerah New South Wales alphanumeric route B74.svg Wyong Road (B74)Tuggerah Interchange
Halloran / Jilliby / Wallarah New South Wales alphanumeric route B70.svg Sparks Road (B70)Warnervale Interchange
Halloran / Jilliby / Kiah / Wallarah New South Wales alphanumeric route A43.svg Motorway Link to Pacific Highway (A43)Wallarah Creek Interchange
City of Lake Macquarie Morisset New South Wales alphanumeric route B53.svg Mandalong Road (B53)Morisset Interchange
Cooranbong New South Wales alphanumeric route B82.svg Freemans Drive (B82)Freemans Waterhole Interchange
Freemans Waterhole Cessnock RoadAwaba Interchange
Cameron Park New South Wales alphanumeric route B89.svg George Booth Drive (B89)West Wallsend Interchange
New South Wales alphanumeric route M15.svg Hunter Expressway (M15) / New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg Newcastle Link Road (A15)Newcastle Interchange
City of Newcastle Black Hill Lenaghans DriveBlack Hill Interchange
Beresfield / Black Hill New South Wales alphanumeric route B68.svg John Renshaw Drive (B68) to Kurri Kurri (16 km) and Cessnock (30 km)
Weakleys Drive to Maitland (14 km) and Brisbane (836 km)
New South Wales alphanumeric route A1.svg John Renshaw Drive (A1) to Newcastle (22 km), Taree (160 km) and Brisbane (784 km)
4-way roundabout
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

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References

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