Princes Highway

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Princes Highway
New South Wales – South Australia
General information
Type Highway
Length 1,898 km (1,179 mi)
Opened 1920
Route number(s) See Route allocation
Major junctions
East end
 
West end
Location(s)
Major settlements Wollongong, Batemans Bay, Orbost, Sale, Melbourne, Geelong, Warrnambool, Mount Gambier, Robe, Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, Crafers, Adelaide, Port Wakefield
For specific or bypassed sections of the Princes Highway, see the following: Princes Highway, Wollongong, Old Princes Highway, Victoria.

The Princes Highway is a major road in Australia, extending from Sydney to Port Augusta via the coast through the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It has a length of 1,941 kilometres (1,206 mi) (along Highway 1) or 1,898 kilometres (1,179 mi) via the former alignments of the highway,[citation needed] although these routes are slower and connections to the bypassed sections of the original route are poor in many cases.

The highway follows the coastline for most of its length, and thus takes quite an indirect and lengthy route. For example it is 1,040 kilometres (650 mi) from Sydney to Melbourne on Highway 1 as opposed to 870 kilometres (540 mi) the more direct Hume Highway (National Highway 31), and 915 kilometres (569 mi) from Melbourne to Adelaide compared to 730 kilometres (450 mi) on the Western and Dukes Highways (National Highway 8). Because of the rural nature and lower traffic volumes over much of its length, the Princes Highway is a more scenic and leisurely route than the main highways between these major cities.

Route allocation[edit]

Sections of the Princes Highway have different route allocations. These allocations are:

  • Sydney-Kogarah:
    • A36
  • Kogarah-Waterfall:
    • A1
  • Waterfall-Yallah (as Princes Motorway):
    • M1
  • Yallah-NSW/Vic Border:
    • A1
  • NSW/Vic Border-Traralgon:
    • A1
  • Traralgon-Geelong (as Princes Freeway):
    • M1
  • Geelong-Vic/SA border:
    • A1
  • Vic/SA border-Mount Gambier:
    • A1
  • Mount Gambier-Tailem Bend:
    • B1
  • Tailem Bend-Port Augusta:
    • A1

Former routes[edit]

In 2013, New South Wales introduced a new alphanumeric route numbering system, replacing the former system of national and state routes.[1]

Wollongong[edit]

The Princes Highway enters Wollongong as State Route 60, and runs a largely separate route through to the southern suburbs from the parallel Princes Motorway, the later of which bears the 'M1' route designation.[2]

The gazetted route of the Princes Highway differs from the route of state route 60 (and from that shown on road signs)[3][4] The gazetted route was designated State Route 60 for its length, but deviated from the road that is signposted as the Princes Highway between Bellambi and North Wollongong (part of the Wollongong Northern Suburbs Distributor).

History[edit]

The Princes Highway as a named route came into being when pre-existing roads were renamed ‘Prince's Highway’ after the visit to Australia in 1920 of the Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VIII and, after abdicating, the Duke of Windsor).

The original submissions in January 1920 were in order for the Prince to have the opportunity during his visit to make the trip from Melbourne to Sydney overland along the route. Different routes were considered, including the inland route via Yass.[5] This idea never came to fruition, due partly to the limited amount of time and the cost to construct the road to a suitable standard for him to undertake the trip. The Prince did, however, give his permission for the naming.[6]

The highway had opening ceremonies in both New South Wales and Victoria during 1920. The first section of road from Melbourne was opened on 10 August in Warragul.[7] The road from Sydney was opened on 19 October in Bulli, by the NSW Minister for Local Government, Thomas Mutch.[8]

The approval was given by the Victorian executive to extend the highway west from Melbourne through Geelong, Camperdown, Warrnambool and Portland to the South Australian border in January 1922.[9] The roads were renamed by the South Australian government from Adelaide east to the South Australian border in February 1922.[10]

In August 2011, the stretch of the highway in South Australia between Port Wakefield and Port Augusta (commonly referred to as "Highway 1") was renamed "Augusta Highway" as part of a process to standardise the rural property addressing system across the state.[11]

Timeline of significant upgrades and bypasses[edit]

  • 1959-1963 – ‘North-South Motorway’ (Pacific Motorway) from North Wollongong to West Wollongong opened in stages, replacing Princes Highway as main north-south route[citation needed].
  • 1961 - Maltby By-pass Road (Werribee bypass, Victoria) opened on 16 June 1961, by the Hon. Sir Thomas K Maltby, ED, MLA, Minister of Public Works. The route was named the ‘Maltby By-pass Road’ by then Premier of Victoria, the Hon. H E Bolte, MLA. It was completed at a cost of 950,000 Australian Pounds and was Victoria’s first controlled-access highway, or ‘freeway’, as such roads are now generally known in Victoria. ‘It is a 4-lane divided highway, 6.5 miles in route length, with no access from adjoining property or cross roads over its entire length’.[12]
  • 1964 - A connector road from Mount Ousley Road to the North-South Motorway at Gwynneville was opened to traffic[citation needed].
  • 1967 - Sealing of the final 5.5 miles of the Princes Highway East, Victoria, near Mount Drummer, completed. A ceremony, sponsored by Orbost Shire Council, at Genoa, was held on 17 January 1967.[13]
  • 1969 - Moe bypass. 3.8 mile single carriageway completed. ‘A single 24 ft. Carriageway has been provided, with earthworks and grade separated structures which can accommodate future duplicate pavements’.[14]
  • 1972 - Haunted Hills (Victoria) section. 2.6 mile second carriageway opened between Gunn’s Gully and Hernes Oak. No cost or date provided.[15]
  • 1975 - Princes Highway from Waterfall to Bulli Tops, New South Wales, superseded by the opening of Southern Freeway (Pacific Motorway)[citation needed].
  • 1976 - Snowy River Bridge, ‘Princes Freeway’, Orbost, Victoria. Opened by the Hon. J A Rafferty, Minister for Transport, 25 November 1976. ‘The bridge was built at a cost of $A2.4 million and is the first of four bridges to be built as part of the 8.4 kilometre freeway bypass of Orbost’.[17] It’s interesting to note the reference to a ‘freeway’, given that the entire bypass is a single two-lane carriageway and is not controlled access. The CRB’s own definition of a freeway can be found in most of their annual reports dating back to the 1960’s: ‘A freeway is a road having dual carriageways with no direct access from adjoining properties and side roads. All crossings of a freeway are by means of overpass or underpass bridges, and traffic enters or leaves the freeway carriageways by means of carefully designed ramps’.[18]
  • 1981 - Drouin bypass, Victoria. 7 km from Robin Hood to the ‘existing’ highway east of Drouin, with ‘two lanes each direction, plus emergency stopping lanes’. Opened 12 February 1981, by the Hon. J C M Balfour, MP, at a cost of $A12m.[19]
  • 1992 - Morwell bypass, Victoria. Opened to traffic in April 1992.[20]
  • 1994 - Longwarry section duplicated 7.8 km. completed between Bunyip River and Robin Hood in January 1994, at a cost of $A25m.[21]
  • 1997 - Yarragon to Trafalgar, Victoria. 7 km duplicated and opened to traffic on 2 May 1997, completing a dual carriageway highway from Melbourne to Traralgon, Victoria.[23]
  • 2002 - Oak Flats Interchange, New South Wales. This project was opened on 29 October 2001. The interchange was designed to significantly improve traffic flow around the Albion Park/Oak Flats section of the Princes Highway by removing a railway level crossing and nearby traffic signals. ‘The interchange also connects with Shellharbour City Council’s East- West Link Road’.[24]
  • 2005 - North Kiama Bypass, New South Wales. Completed at a cost of $A179m and opened to traffic on 28 November 2005. The North Kiama Bypass links the Kiama Bypass in the south and the Princes Highway near Dunmore in the north.[25]
  • 2009 - Oak Flats, New South Wales to Dunmore. Dual carriageways completed at a cost of $A108m and opened to traffic in October 2009, completing a four-lane route between Sydney and south of Kiama.[26]
  • 2013 - Geelong Ring Road (Victoria). Anglesea Road to Princes Highway opened to traffic in February 2013.[27]
  • 2013 - Wurruk to Sale, Victoria. 4 km duplication opened June 2013.[28]

Wollongong section[edit]

The section of the Princes Highway between West Helensburgh and Bulli Tops the original coastal route between Sydney and Wollongong, first used in 1843[citation needed]. From Bulli Tops this route continued south along today's Mount Ousley Road as far south as Mount Keira Road, and then followed Mount Keira Road around the west of Mount Keira. This route replaced the inland route from Sydney via Liverpool, Campbelltown and Appin to Bulli Tops.

In 1920, following a visit to Australia by the Prince of Wales (later King George V), the coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne was named Princes Highway. Today's Princes Hwy between Sydney and Wollongong via Tom Uglys Point, Engadine and Bulli Pass follows the route as proclaimed in 1920[citation needed].

In 1942, as part of wartime defence measures, a road was built from Mount Keira Road to Fairy Meadow. This route forms part of Mount Ousley Road[citation needed].

Route[edit]

New South Wales[edit]

Princes Highway at Moruya, New South Wales.
Princes Highway at Eden, NSW.

The Princes Highway starts at the junction of Broadway (Great Western Highway) and City Road in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale. City Road in fact forms the first section of the highway, and becomes King Street in Newtown, also part of the Princes Highway. Where King Street ends at Sydney Park Road, the Princes Highway continues in its own right.

The highway in this section is constructed as a six-lane divided carriageway, other than along King Street (four-lane undivided) and along the western edge of the Royal National Park, where it is built as four-lane dual carriageway.[citation needed]. The only major engineering structures along its route are the twin Tom Uglys Bridge across Georges River. The northbound bridge is of steel truss construction, opened in 1929, whilst the southbound bridge is of prestressed concrete girders, opened in 1987.

It runs through Sydney's southern suburbs (the St George area and Sutherland Shire), via Kogarah, Sutherland and Engadine to the village of Waterfall.

After Waterfall the highway is paralleled by the Princes Motorway (national route M1) to the top of Bulli Pass outside the city of Wollongong, which carries the majority of traffic. The Princes Highway then enters the northern suburbs of Wollongong and the Illawarra region via Bulli Pass, whilst Mount Ousley Road, which is designated as part of national route 1, bypasses Wollongong's northern suburbs to meet the Princes Highway at Fairy Meadow, and carries inter-city traffic. Where Mount Ousley Road enters Wollongong, the Princes Motorway branches off Mount Ousley Road, and parallels the highway through the suburbs of Wollongong to Yallah. The Mount Ousley Road-Princes Motorway route is the inter-city and main urban arterial through Wollongong's southern suburbs, whereas the Princes Highway acts as a local arterial.

From the southern end of the Princes Motorway at Yallah, the Princes Highway is dual carriageway, mostly to freeway standard, to Kiama Heights (with the exception of the 3 km section from the Illawarra Highway to Tongarra Road in Albion Park Rail, which is four lane undivided. Beyond Kiama Heights, 120 km south of Sydney, the highway is single two lane carriageway to Cambewarra Road Bomaderry. Design and preparation works are underway for the duplication of the highway from Kiama Heights to Cambewarra Road. This is intended to include a bypass of Berry, but adheres to the extremely hilly route from the southern end of the Gerringong bypass to Berry, rather than the flat terrain immediately to the east, which the Illawarra railway follows.

From Cambewarra Road the highway is four lane divided through Bomaderry and Nowra to near the junction with Warra Warra Road in South Nowra. Duplication to dual carriageway standard of a 6 km length south from here to Forest Road is under construction and scheduled for completion in early 2014, following a three month cessation of work while measures were put in place to protect a hitherto unknown area of habitat of the endangered green and golden bell frog.[29] Beyond this section is 4 km of four lane single carriageway from Forest Road to the junction with Jervis Bay Road.

From Jervis Bay Road southward the highway is mostly single two lane carriageway along the South Coast of New South Wales, passing through Ulladulla, Batemans Bay (where the 1 km town centre bypass is built as dual carriageway), Moruya, Narooma and Bega, then bypassing Merimbula and passing through Eden, before crossing the border into Victoria, 550 km from Sydney and 515 km from Melbourne.

Work is presently underway to deviate a section of the highway with a substandard alignment at Victoria Creek 13 km south of Narooma, and work commenced in May 2012 on the 3.5 km Bega bypass. Realignments with associated new bridges are also proposed at Termeil Creek (30 km south of Ulladulla) and Dignams Creek (20 km south of Narooma). Current identified future projects are a bypass of Nowra-Bomaderry (definite route identified only for section south of Shoalhaven River), and a bypass of Ulladulla-Milton.

The Princes Highway is considered a dangerous road by the New South Wales NRMA,[30] with 10 fatalities and 729 people injured on the highway between Sydney and the state border in 2006.[31]

Victoria[edit]

The Princes Highway is beautified in some towns, such as Bairnsdale, Victoria, where the median strip has been made a garden.

In Victoria, the Princes Highway follows a very long and complex route. The route within Metropolitan Melbourne carries the original individual names of sections of the Princes Highway (on signage, each road section has "Princes Highway" in bold and then the individual name in brackets, such as "(Dandenong Road)" or "(Geelong Road)").

Apart from this "National Alternative Route 1" route and "C***" route (in the outer metropolitan areas - such as Werribee and Berwick), the M1 Freeway route intersects (Monash Freeway/CityLink/West Gate Freeway/Princes Freeway) and this carries the much higher volume of traffic, including congestion in the peak periods, serving as the major, most direct and quickest route for the "1" route in Australia.

In Victoria, the length from the South Australian border to the New South Wales border is 955 km; the highway passes (from east to west, from the border with New South Wales) through Orbost, Bairnsdale and Sale in the Gippsland region. The highway then passes through the Latrobe Valley, and from here the highway continues west, bypassing Morwell, Warragul and Pakenham to Dandenong and into the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Most of this section is to freeway standard, with the main outstanding work being the freeway bypass of Traralgon, although the highway through Traralgon has already been built to urban dual carriageway standard.

As the road passes through Melbourne, it first follows the route of Lonsdale Street (through Dandenong), then Dandenong Road to St Kilda, and Queens Road through Albert Park (this section of highway is shown in the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan as part of the F14 freeway corridor). Closer to Melbourne city centre, it follows the route of Kings Way, and then King Street through central Melbourne. It then follows Curzon Street after leaving the central business district to enter North Melbourne, and then follows Flemington Road northwest from Curzon Street, then Racecourse Road, Smithfield Road and Ballarat Road, in that order, before it starts again as Geelong Road where Geelong Road branches southwest off Ballarat Road, and Ballarat Road leads onto the Western Freeway. This reason for this confusing naming of the highway through Melbourne is that it follows streets and roads which were already named when the highway was named in 1920 and which were not renamed.

As mentioned above, through much of Melbourne and its suburbs, the route of National Route 1 is not the Princes Highway, but rather the Monash Freeway, which intersects the Princes Highway on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, and then the West Gate Freeway which bypasses central Melbourne. These two freeways have been linked by the southern link of the CityLink tollway. This avoids the confusing and congested arrangement of roads that is the Princes Highway in central Melbourne. The M1'carries an advanced and compiles 'Freeway Management System' for its entire 75 km urban length, between Narree Warren and Werribee. Along with freeway sensors and associated data stations, overhead LUMS gantures which show speed and lane availabliity, electronic message boards, real-time drive time signs and arterial road real-time Infirmation signs (before the on-ramps); there are the 64+ Ramp Signal/Metering sites. Hence, the majority of the on-ramps are traffic light controlled, depending on the density and speed of the traffic.

Heading towards Geelong in a south-west direction, the West Gate Freeway and Geelong Road join together in a junction to become the Princes Freeway, which, unusually for an Australian inter-city freeway, carries enough traffic to merit four to three lanes in either direction (often still being congested in the morning and afternoon peaks). On the northern outskirts of Geelong, the highway reverts from freeway to three lane dual carriageway through Geelong and its suburbs, with traffic light-controlled at-grade intersections. Through Geelong the highway is often heavily congested.

With the completion of stages 1 and 2 in December 2008 and of stage 3 in June 2009 of the freeway standard Geelong Ring Road, the M1 (i.e. national route 1) now follows the freeway-standard road from Geelong to Traralgon, without encountering any traffic lights (with the exception of Yarragon and Trafalgar, which are yet to be bypassed). The ring road rejoins the highway at Waurn Ponds on the western edge of Geelong.

Within Geelong, the Princes Highway starts at the junction of Princes Freeway in the northern Geelong suburb of Corio, and runs along Geelong's northern and southern suburbs via the inner-city western bypass of the Geelong City Centre, to the current Highway 1 segment of the Princes Highway at Waurn Ponds in Geelong's southern suburbs. The highway is six lane dual carriageway from Corio to Latrobe Terrace, continuing as a four lane dual carriageway to Waurn Ponds. The 1989 re-alignment of the Princes Highway (as La Trobe Terrace) provides a dual carriageway, 4 lane limited access road to replace the original route along Moorabool Street in South Geelong and High Street in Belmont. Upon the completion of the final section (4B-C) of the Geelong Ring Road, another section of the Princes Highway will be superseded in Waurn Ponds.

After Geelong the highway heads in a generally western direction and is mostly a single two lane carriageway. In May 2008 the Victorian and Federal Governments each committed $110 million to duplicate the Princes Highway from the southern junction with the Geelong Ring Road to Winchelsea.[32]

West of Winchelsea the highway passes through Colac, before reaching Warrnambool. The section from Geelong to Warrnambool runs inland, and so avoids the slower, but scenic Great Ocean Road. From Warrnambool, the Princes Highway passes through Portland before crossing the border into South Australia. At this point the highway is 1530 km from Sydney, 465 km from Melbourne and 510 km from Adelaide.

South Australia[edit]

At Mount Gambier the highway takes a more northward tack as the coast curves to the northwest, passing the Coorong National Park. After Robe, it turns inland (north) to avoid the lakes at the mouth of the River Murray. Shortly before Tailem Bend it is joined by the Dukes Highway, part of the main route between Melbourne and Adelaide. The highway then turns north-west and becomes the South Eastern Freeway, crosses the Murray River, bypasses Murray Bridge and continues to Crafers where it becomes the Adelaide–Crafers Highway until Glen Osmond on Adelaide's southeastern outskirts.

At this point the Princes Highway is 6 km from Adelaide and 2055 km from Sydney. It continues north-west via Glen Osmond Road to Adelaide city centre, where it runs west along South Terrace then turns north along King William Street through the city centre and then follows Main North Road to Port Wakefield Road where it rejoins the coast. From Port Wakefield it continues as the "Augusta Highway", and follows the coast, skirting Port Pirie to continue on to Port Augusta, where it terminates at the intersection of the Eyre Highway and Stuart Highway.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roads and Maritime Services (26 November 2012). "Alpha-numeric route numbers - Road Projects - Roads and Maritime Services". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Spatial Information Exchange, New South Wales Land and Property Information, retrieved 8 September 2011 
  3. ^ Schedule of Classified Roads and State & Regional Roads, Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales, 31 January 2011, retrieved 8 September 2011 
  4. ^ Roads and Traffic Authority 189, Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales, 25 October 2022, p. 9185, retrieved 8 September 2011 
  5. ^ "MELBOURNE-SYDNEY ROAD.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 24 January 1920. p. 18. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "PRINCE'S HIGHWAY.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 11 August 1920. p. 9. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "PRINCE'S HIGHWAY.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 11 August 1920. p. 9. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "PRINCE'S HIGHWAY.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 20 October 1920. p. 12. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "PRINCE'S HIGHWAY.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 25 January 1922. p. 12. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "THE PRINCE'S HIGHWAY.". The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 10 February 1922. p. 6. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Highways renamed in SA, Logistics, Trucking and Transport News - Prime Mover Magazine. Retrieved on 17 November 2012.
  12. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Forty-eighth annual report for the year ended 30th June, 1961, Melbourne, Victoria: Government Printer, 1961. p. 20.
  13. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Fifty-Fourth Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1967, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1968. p. 13
  14. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Fifty-Sixth Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1969, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1970. p. 5, 10
  15. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Fifty-Ninth Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1972, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1972. p. 9
  16. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Sixtieth Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1973, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1973. p. 7
  17. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. Sixty-Fourth Annual Report: for the year ended 30th June, 1977, Burwood, Victoria: Brown, Prior, Anderson, 1977. p. 7
  18. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. 69th Annual Report. 1981-1982, Kew, Victoria: Country Roads Board Victoria, 1982. p. 24
  19. ^ Country Roads Board Victoria. 68th Annual Report. 1980-1981, Kew, Victoria: Country Roads Board Victoria, 1981. p. 10
  20. ^ VicRoads. VicRoads Annual Report 1992-93, Kew, Victoria: VicRoads, 1993, p. 43
  21. ^ VicRoads. VicRoads Annual Report 1993-94, Kew, Victoria: VicRoads, 1994, p. 15
  22. ^ VicRoads. VicRoads Annual Report 1995-96, Kew, Victoria: VicRoads, 1996, p. 15
  23. ^ VicRoads. VicRoads Annual Report 1996-97, Kew, Victoria: VicRoads, 1997, p. 16
  24. ^ Roads and Traffic Authority NSW. Annual report 2002, Sydney, New South Wales: RTA, 2002. p. 38
  25. ^ Roads and Traffic Authority NSW. Annual report 2006, Sydney, New South Wales: RTA, 2006. p. 26
  26. ^ Roads and Traffic Authority NSW. Annual report 2009-10, Sydney, New South Wales: RTA, 2010. p. 26
  27. ^ VicRoads. Annual Report 2012-13, Kew, Victoria: VicRoads, 2013, p. 20
  28. ^ VicRoads. Annual Report 2012-13, Kew, Victoria: VicRoads, 2013, p. 20
  29. ^ "Work to restart at South Nowra". RMS Ministerial press release (Roads & Maritime Services). 22 March 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. "Work was suspended in November 2011 and since then Roads & Maritime Services has been working to ensure the frogs are protected while the work is carried out, NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said." 
  30. ^ "Princes Highway ignored by NSW govt: NRMA". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 22 June 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2008. "NRMA managing director Alan Evans says the highway is one of the most dangerous in the state and he is disappointed that it has been ignored." 
  31. ^ "Road traffic crashes in New South Wales: Statistical Statement for the year ended 31 December 2006" (pdf). Crash statistics. New South Wales Road Traffic Authority. 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2008.  (see Table 25: pages 58-59)
  32. ^ Jeff Whalley (9 May 2008). "Ring road will be connected to duplicated Princes Highway". Geelong Advertiser. www.geelongadvertiser.com.au. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 

External links[edit]