Monash Freeway

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Monash Freeway
Victoria
General information
Type Freeway
Length 34 km (21 mi)
Opened 1965
Route number(s)
  • M1 (1997-present)
  • Entire Route
Former
route number
Major junctions
NW end
 
for full list see exits and interchanges
SE end
Location(s)
Major suburbs / towns Chadstone, Mulgrave, Doveton, Narre Warren
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in Victoria

The Monash Freeway[3] is a major urban freeway in Victoria, Australia, linking Melbourne's CBD to its south-eastern suburbs and beyond to the Gippsland region. It carries up to 180,000 vehicles per day and is one of Australia's busiest freeways. The entire stretch of the Monash Freeway bears the designation M1. The freeway was originally shown in the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan as part of the F9 and F14 Freeway corridors.

History[edit]

The Monash Freeway is an amalgamation of two initially separate freeways: the Mulgrave Freeway (initially designated Freeway Route 81) linking Warrigal Road, Chadstone to the Princes Highway in Eumemmerring; and the South Eastern Freeway (initially designated Freeway Route 80) linking Punt Road, Richmond and Toorak Road, Hawthorn East. Known as "the south-eastern car park".

Mulgrave Freeway[edit]

The initial section of the Mulgrave Freeway was opened to traffic in 1972,[4] with bi-directional interchanges with Heatherton and Stud Roads. Later in the 1970s and in the early 1980s it was progressively extended westward to Forster Road - with additional interchanges at Blackburn, Ferntree Gully, Wellington and Jacksons Roads (and eventually Police Road during the early to mid 90's) - then to Huntingdale Road, and finally to Warrigal Road in Chadstone. Construction at the Hallam end extended underneath an interchange at the Princes Highway and southwards along the old alignment of the South Gippsland Highway to the interchange with Dandenong-Hastings Road, now the Westernport Highway at Lyndhurst; this section was initially named the Eumemmerring Freeway, but later named the South Gippsland Freeway.[4] The Freeway Route 81 designation was dropped in 1988, coinciding with the opening of the South Eastern Arterial.

Interestingly at this time the Tullamarine Freeway also carried the Freeway Route 81 route shield. This was due to the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan having the two freeways linked to each other from around East Malvern (at the Mulgrave Freeway end) and at Flemington (at the Tullamarine Freeway end), sweeping through the St Kilda area. The plan never came to fruition, but the two freeways have since been linked by the West Gate Freeway extension and the CityLink project.

Monash Freeway (former South Eastern Arterial) viewed from the footbridge at East Malvern Station

Mulgrave Freeway timeline of construction[edit]

  • 1972 - Mulgrave and Eumemmerring (South Gippsland) Freeways - 5.6 km from the Princes Highway, Hallam to Stud Road, Dandenong North, opened 21 November 1972, by His Excellency the Governor of Victoria.[4]
  • 1974 - 7.5 km opened 1974 from Springvale Road to Stud Road $9.3 million.[5]
  • 1976 - Opened from Springvale Road to Blackburn Road, 15 December 1976.[6]
  • 1977 - Opened from Blackburn to Forster Road, 5 April 1977, by the Hon J A Rafferty, Minister for Transport. This section along with the previous section opened in 1976 cost a total of $13m.[6]
  • 1979 - 2.1 km from Huntingdale Road to Forster Road, with three lanes each direction, plus emergency stopping lanes, opened 12 December 1979, by Minister for Transport, the Hon Robert Maclellan MLA, at a cost of $8.7m.[7]
  • 1981 - 1.6 km from Huntingdale Road to Warrigul Road, with two lanes each direction, plus emergency stopping lanes - opened 24 June 1981, by Minister for Transport, the Hon Robert Maclellan MLA, at a cost of $11m. ‘Opened one week after the 20th anniversary of the opening of Victoria’s first freeway, the Maltby Bypass Road near Werribee, on 16 June 1961'.[8]

South Eastern Freeway[edit]

Initial construction of the South Eastern Freeway had completed by the mid-1960s, connecting Burnley to Olympic Park at Harcourt Parade, which fed traffic to Punt Road at the Hoddle Bridge: an overpass across Punt Road quickly followed to end at Anderson Street and the Morell Bridge, with a single-carriageway feeder road to the Swan Street Bridge (and Batman Avenue) 800 metres beyond. The freeway was eventually further extended east from Burnley under the MacRobertson Bridge along the Yarra, to Toorak Road (with a single-carriageway feeder road taking excess traffic to Tooronga Road. Part of the road still exists along the Home Hardware store which can be seen from the Tooronga road overpass of the Monash Fwy. This was completed in 1971. Initially designated State Route 80 in the 1960s, it was later signed as Freeway Route 80 until 1988, when the South Eastern Arterial was completed.

South Eastern Arterial Road Link[edit]

Traffic slowed to a crawl on the Monash Freeway in peak hour traffic

The resulting gap between the Toorak / Burke Road end of the South Eastern Freeway and the Warrigal Road end of the Mulgrave Freeway frustrated drivers for many years. Motorists had to rely on inadequate feeder roads to connect between the two freeways. Construction on a dual-carriageway at-grade road link between the two freeways began in the mid-1980s. The link opened to traffic in December 1988 at a cost of A$152 million, originally with two lanes in each direction.[9] Soon after opening, the link, as well as the South Eastern Freeway and the Mulgrave Freeway, were re-named the South Eastern Arterial. This road assumed the National Route 1 route number from the Princes Highway, which became an alternative route.

The project attracted a great deal of controversy just before it opened and well afterwards: in order to save costs, only one freeway-style interchange had been constructed (underneath High Street in Glen Iris). Every other interchange with major roads along the route (Toorak, Burke, Tooronga and Warrigal Roads) was an at-grade intersection controlled by traffic-lights, and because the road was constructed through residential areas, reduced speed limits were also enforced. This led to heavy congestion, frequently kilometres long, on the freeway, fuelling anger and frustration, and even attracting a rather-apt moniker of "the South-Eastern Carpark".

With a change of government several years later and a lot of political showmanship, more money was poured into the link road, constructing underpass interchanges at Toorak and Burke Roads (and just an underpass at Tooronga Road). A new overpass across Warrigal Road was opened in June 1994, at a cost of $15m.[10] In 1997 the name changed from ‘South Eastern Arterial’ to ‘South Eastern Freeway’ after upgrade works, including noise reduction measures, new landscaping and improvements to the adjacent cycle path. The works cost a total of $112m. The official ‘opening’ was held on 20 March 1997.[11] The name later changed again to the now-current Monash Freeway, so named by Premier Kennett after General Sir John Monash, arguably Australia's greatest soldier, engineer, scholar and nation builder. The improved road dramatically improved the rate of outbound traffic, however the bottleneck at the Swan Street Bridge still remained and the queues only got longer. A portion of the Monash Freeway at the city end (from Toorak to Punt Roads) was eventually incorporated into the CityLink project in the late 1990s by way of tunnels underneath the city to link to the eastern-end of the West Gate Freeway, allowing for an uninterrupted voyage past the CBD.

Hallam bypass[edit]

Before this bypass was constructed, the sweeping curve of the freeway at the Hallam end that became the South Gippsland Freeway had its capacity reduced from three lanes to two, resulting in a notorious bottle-neck at peak hours, especially for outbound traffic exiting at the Princes Highway interchange outside Dandenong; the extension finally bypassed the entire problem.

The Monash Freeway was extended by 7.5 km in July 2003 when the Hallam Bypass was completed after 3 years of construction, linking the Monash Freeway to the Princes Freeway in Berwick. It opened 17 months ahead of schedule and A$10 million under budget (total cost A$165 million).[12] This was due to the omission of one key interchange that should have linked the South Gippsland Freeway with the Hallam Bypass at Eummemmering[citation needed]. This omission causes unnecessary congestion on neighbouring roads as northbound South Gippsland Freeway traffic must exit the freeway at Princes Highway only to join the same freeway again from Belgrave-Hallam Road eastbound.

The Monash Freeway allows travel from Morwell in the central Latrobe Valley, to Waurn Ponds in the south-east of Geelong - via CityLink, the West Gate, the Geelong Ring Road and Princes Freeways. Motorists can cover over 200 km without encountering a set of traffic lights (except at Yarragon and Trafalgar, which are yet to be bypassed). The construction of the bypass also included the Hallam Bypass Trail shared path.

Major upgrade[edit]

In 2007, the State Government announced a major upgrade widening the lanes from Glenferrie Road through to Heatherton Road. Prior to this, over 160,000 vehicles per day used this freeway resulting in congestion during peak hours. The upgrade started in late 2007 and was expected to be completed in late 2009. The entire project is known as the Monash-CityLink-West Gate upgrade, and is being carried out by VicRoads and Transurban.[13]

Route and conditions[edit]

The freeway officially begins at the southern end of CityLink, at Toorak Road. Here the freeway is four lanes wide. The opposing carriageways of the freeway are relatively near to each other and are separated by a concrete barrier. This section has overhead lighting. This first section of freeway runs through the south-eastern suburbs of Malvern, Glen Iris and Malvern East.

After Warrigal Road, the freeway is built within a much wider road reserve, allowing for a wide grass centre median with steel barrier separating the carriageways. This section does not have overhead lighting and carries four lanes on each carriageway. This section runs through south-eastern metropolitan Melbourne, including the suburbs of Chadstone, Mount Waverley, Mulgrave, Dandenong, Hallam, and finally, Narre Warren, where it becomes the Princes Freeway. The final section, the Pakenham bypass, is the newest stretch of the Monash Freeway, and has two lanes in each carriageway.

The M1 route also carries the recently developed VicRoads Traffic Management System which included Freeway On-Ramp metering (with road loops and signals), over-head speed limit and lane signs and electronic message boards; there are also various CCTV Cameras and Traffic sensors to monitor traffic flow and conditions constantly. Electronic 'Estimated Travel Time' boards are also used in conjunction with the sensors.

Standard travel time for the Monash Freeway / CityLink (Southern Link) in both directions, is 32 minutes. (7 minutes between Clyde Road and the South Gippsland Freeway, 5 minutes between the South Gippsland Freeway and EastLink, 8 minutes between EastLink and Warrigal Road, 5 minutes between Warrigal Road and Toorak Road and 7 minutes between Toorak Road and Kings Way - which is outside the Domain Tunnel on the West Gate Freeway).

The usual peak period travel time with traffic congestion, is between 45–70 minutes. In times of extreme congestion, possibly residual due to an incident, the travel time can go well above 70 minutes.

Exits and interchanges[edit]

LGA Location km[14] Mile Exit Destinations Notes
Stonnington KooyongMalvern boundary 0 0 E4 CityLink (M1) north / Toorak Road (State Route 26) – Melbourne, Toorak, Burwood, Melbourne Airport North-western freeway terminus: continues as CityLink; single-point urban interchange
Glen Iris 1.5 0.9 E5 Burke Road (State Route 17) – Caulfield, Camberwell
2.6 1.6 E6 High Street (State Route 24) – Glen Waverley, Glen Iris North-westbound entry and south-eastbound exit only
Stonnington–Monash boundary Malvern EastChadstone boundary 6.7 4.2 E7 Warrigal Road (State Route 15) – Oakleigh, Chadstone
Monash Chadstone–Mount Waverley boundary 8.4 5.2 8 Huntingdale Road (State Route 47) – Huntingdale, Burwood South-eastbound entry and north-westbound exit only
Mount Waverley 10.5 6.5 9 Forster Road – Clayton, Mount Waverley
Mount Waverley–Glen Waverley boundary 11.7 7.3 10 Blackburn Road (State Route 13) – Edithvale, Blackburn
Mulgrave 12.9 8.0 11 Ferntree Gully Road (State Route 22) – Ferntree Gully, Mount Dandenong North-westbound entry and south-eastbound exit only
Mulgrave–Wheelers Hill boundary 13.8 8.6 12 Springvale Road (State Route 40) – Springvale, Glen Waverley South-eastbound entry and north-westbound exit only
15.6 9.7 13 Wellington Road (State Route 18) – Rowville, Emerald, Oakleigh, Ormond No access south-eastbound to westbound, westbound to south-eastbound, north-westbound to eastbound, or eastbound to north-westbound
Mulgrave 18.0 11.2 14 Jacksons Road – Mulgrave, Noble Park No north-westbound exit
Monash–Greater Dandenong boundary Mulgrave–Dandenong North boundary 18.3 11.4 15 Police Road (State Route 16) – Springvale, Dandenong North North-westbound exit only
Greater Dandenong Dandenong North 19.5 12.1 16 EastLink (M3) – Ringwood, Frankston Tom Wills Interchange; partial turbine interchange: no access northbound to south-eastbound or north-westbound to southbound
21.9 13.6 17 Stud Road (State Route 9) – Rowville, Dandenong
Casey DovetonEndeavour Hills boundary 23.7 14.7 18 Heatherton Road (State Route 14) – Dandenong North, Endeavour Hills
26.3 16.3 19 South Gippsland Freeway (M420) – Cranbourne, Hastings Partial semi-directional T interchange: no access northbound to south-eastbound
HallamNarre Warren North boundary 28.2 17.5 20 Belgrave–Hallam Road – Hallam, Endeavour Hills
Narre Warren 29.9 18.6 21 Ernst Wanke Road North-westbound entry and south-eastbound exit only
32.2 20.0 22 Narre Warren North Road (C404) – Belgrave, Cranbourne
Narre Warren–Berwick boundary 33.8 21.0 23 Princes Freeway (M1) south-east / Princes Highway (C101 east / Alternate National Route 1 west) – Warragul, Traralgon, Berwick, Narre Warren South-eastern freeway terminus: continues as Princes Freeway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ F80 via South Eastern Freeway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 4 September 2013.[self-published source]
  2. ^ F81 via Mulgrave Freeway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 4 September 2013.[self-published source]
  3. ^ a b M1 - Monash Freeway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 4 September 2013.[self-published source]
  4. ^ a b c Country Roads Board Victoria. Sixtieth Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1973, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1973. p. 5.
  5. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Sixty-First Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1974, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1974. p. 4
  6. ^ a b Country Roads Board Victoria. Sixty-Fourth Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1977, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1977. p. 7.
  7. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. 67th Annual Report. 1979-1980, Kew, Victoria: Country Roads Board Victoria, 1980. p. 9.
  8. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. 68th Annual Report. 1980-1981, Kew, Victoria: Country Roads Board Victoria, 1981. p. 11.
  9. ^ Road Construction Authority Victoria. Annual Report 1988-1989, Kew, Victoria: Road Construction Authority, Victoria, 1989. p. 45
  10. ^ Vicroads. Vicroads Annual Report 1993-94, Kew, Victoria: Vicroads, 1994, p. 12
  11. ^ Vicroads. Vicroads Annual Report 1996-97, Kew, Victoria: Vicroads, 1997, p. 13
  12. ^ Vicroads. Vicroads Annual Report 2003-04, Kew, Victoria: Vicroads, 2004, p. 25
  13. ^ Monash-CityLink-West Gate upgrade home
  14. ^ Google Inc. "Monash Freeway". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/-37.8447516,145.0397239/-38.0281278,145.3211272/@-37.9371303,145.1793776,12z/data=!4m9!4m8!1m5!3m4!1m2!1d145.0861242!2d-37.8801406!3s0x6ad66a7a5eae0197:0x4a45f5cd204b4e5b!1m0!3e0. Retrieved 4 June 2014.