Western Distributor

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Western Distributor
New South Wales
Driving on the Western Distributor.jpg
Eastbound traffic on the Western Distributor traveling into the Sydney CBD
General information
Type Freeway
Length 3 km (2 mi)
Opened 1972
Route number(s)
  • A4
  • (Entire Route)
route number
  • Metroad 4 (?-2013)
  • Entire route
  • State Route 40 (?-2013)
  • Entire route
Major junctions
East end
West end
Major suburbs / towns Sydney, Pyrmont, Rozelle
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in New South Wales
Western Distributor today (overpass on extreme top-right and middle-left of the picture)

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.


Construction of the Western Distributor during the 1980s

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.[1] 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.[1] 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).

Abandoned section[edit]

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).

Planned links[edit]

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.

Today, the Western Distributor ends at the Victoria Road - City West Link intersection, with traffic fed onto either of these roads.

See also[edit]

Australian roads portal


External links[edit]