|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
|Length||34 km (21 mi)|
for full list see exits and interchanges
|Major suburbs / towns||Chadstone, Mulgrave, Doveton, Narre Warren|
|Highways in Australia
National Highway • Freeways in Australia
Highways in Victoria
The Monash Freeway 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.
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".
Initial construction on the Mulgrave Freeway started in 1970 and was completed in 1973, 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. 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.
South Eastern Freeway
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.
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, needing to rely increasingly on feeder roads to bridge the distance between them. The State Government proposed a road to connect them during the mid-1980s, before finally agreeing on an alignment and allowing construction to commence on a dual-carriageway link between the freeways; construction finished in 1988, and the link - and later the entire length of the now-connected freeway, from the city to Eumemmerring - was re-christened as the South Eastern Arterial; the new stretch of road also re-designated National Route 1, with the Princes Highway (Dandenong Road) becoming 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), and a new overpass across Warrigal Road. New noise barriers and extra lanes were also constructed, and the freeway 'upgrade' was completed and the entire length renamed back to the South Eastern Freeway, before changing name 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.
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 freeway was extended by 7.5 km in late 2003 when the Hallam Bypass was completed after 3 years of construction, connecting the Monash Freeway in Hallam to the Princes Freeway in Berwick. It opened 6 months ahead of schedule and A$80 million under budget due to the omission of one key interchange that should have linked the South Gippsland Freeway with the Hallam Bypass at Eummemmering. 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.
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.
Route and conditions
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
|Stonnington||Kooyong–Malvern boundary||0||0||E4||CityLink (M1) north / Toorak Road (State Route 26) , 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)|
|2.6||1.6||E6||High Street (State Route 24)||North-westbound entry and south-eastbound exit only|
|Stonnington–Monash boundary||Malvern East–Chadstone boundary||6.7||4.2||E7||Warrigal Road (State Route 15)|
|Monash||Chadstone–Mount Waverley boundary||8.4||5.2||8||Huntingdale Road (State Route 47)||South-eastbound entry and north-westbound exit only|
|Mount Waverley||10.5||6.5||9||Forster Road|
|Mount Waverley–Glen Waverley boundary||11.7||7.3||10||Blackburn Road (State Route 13)|
|Mulgrave||12.9||8.0||11||Ferntree Gully Road (State Route 22)||North-westbound entry and south-eastbound exit only|
|Mulgrave–Wheelers Hill boundary||13.8||8.6||12||Springvale Road (State Route 40)||South-eastbound entry and north-westbound exit only|
|15.6||9.7||13||Wellington Road (State Route 18)||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||No north-westbound exit|
|Monash–Greater Dandenong boundary||Mulgrave–Dandenong North boundary||18.3||11.4||15||Police Road (State Route 16)||North-westbound exit only|
|Greater Dandenong||Dandenong North||19.5||12.1||16||EastLink (M3)||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)|
|Casey||Doveton–Endeavour Hills boundary||23.7||14.7||18||Heatherton Road (State Route 14)|
|26.3||16.3||19||South Gippsland Freeway (M420)||Partial semi-directional T interchange: no access northbound to south-eastbound|
|Hallam–Narre Warren North boundary||28.2||17.5||20||Belgrave–Hallam Road|
|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)|
|Narre Warren–Berwick boundary||33.8||21.0||23||Princes Freeway (M1) south-east / Princes Highway (C101 east / Alternate National Route 1 west)||South-eastern freeway terminus: continues as Princes Freeway|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- F80 via South Eastern Freeway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 4 September 2013.[self-published source]
- F81 via Mulgrave Freeway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 4 September 2013.[self-published source]
- M1 - Monash Freeway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 4 September 2013.[self-published source]
- Monash-CityLink-West Gate upgrade home
- 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.