|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2014)|
New South Wales
|Eastbound traffic on the Western Distributor traveling into the Sydney CBD|
|Length||3 km (2 mi)|
|Major suburbs / towns||Sydney, Pyrmont, Rozelle|
|Highways in Australia
National Highway • Freeways in Australia
Highways in New South Wales
The Western Distributor is a primarily elevated small freeway in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia that links Victoria Road, White Bay (Rozelle), with the Bradfield Highway at the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is part of the A4.
The Western Distributor came to be out of the realization in the early 1960s that the existing roads that supported the Harbour Bridge would not cope with contemporary and projected traffic volumes. Due to existing infrastructure and buildings in the area, it was decided to build a viaduct to carry traffic above the city streets. The Western Distributor was opened in stages starting in September 1972, with the last stage being the Anzac Bridge which was opened in December 1995. The distributor also replaces the former congested route out of the city via the Pyrmont Bridge (closed in 1988) and the Glebe Island Bridge (closed in 1995 with the opening of Anzac bridge).
Underneath the Western Distributor at its northern end, between Sussex and Kent streets there is an abandoned carriageway underneath the main roadway. It is a short section of elevated freeway; the top tier remains in constant use but the lower is suspended in the air; having been severed at each end.
It is an unusual motorway as, citybound, it heads East, South East after the Anzac Bridge, East, North then North East. The freeway distributes traffic arriving from the north (a function which gives the road its name) while collecting traffic from the CBD, distributing it through Pyrmont and Ultimo before crossing over the Anzac bridge. In the citybound direction, traffic is collected from Victoria Road and the City West Link, as well as various on ramps in the Pyrmont and Ultimo areas. Traffic is distributed into the CBD through various off ramps in Pyrmont and the western edge of the CBD, as well as into the Cross City Tunnel. The remaining traffic is fed into the Bradfield Highway, as it is not possible for northbound traffic to exit onto the Cahill Expressway (traffic travelling east on the Western Distributor wishing to reach the eastern edge of the CBD and beyond must either travel through the Cross City Tunnel or negotiate the packed streets of the CBD).
When it was built, it was described as the southern end of the F3 Freeway, as that was where the North West Freeway was intended to finish, however due to protests from inner city residents, this plan never came to fruition.