Phillip Parkway : History
The Phillip Parkway was planned by the Department of Main Roads in the 1960s following the release of large areas of Penrith and Blacktown Local Government Areas from the Green Belt to connect the F2 - Castlereagh Freeway with the F4 - Western Freeway in the vicinity of Rooty Hill. No official plans for construction of the Parkway were ever released but, as it appears on the Department of Main Roads’ 1972 map showing ‘Planned Freeways’, it is safe to assume it was planned a strictly controlled-access, grade-separated facility. It first appeared on DMR plans in 1968 and it was incorporated into the Blacktown City Planning Scheme in the same year.
While the Parkway remained on subsequent road plans, like its neighbour, the Castlereagh Freeway, its construction was hardly a hot topic. Logical road planning would suggest that the Castlereagh Freeway would be constructed before the link connecting it with the Western Freeway, and probably for that reason the Parkway appeared out of sight and out of mind. Construction of the Parkway was not included in the ‘Sydney Region Concept Plan’ from the Department of Main Roads’ Roads 2000 strategy (1987), with construction of the Castlereagh Freeway planned only as far as Old Windsor Rd.
However, construction of the Parkway received a kick-start in the late 1980s when BHP approached Blacktown City Council about establishing a Steel Mill in Rooty Hill. Fearing increased traffic congestion on the newly opened Davis Overpass, over the other side of Rooty Hill, and the recognising the detrimental effects of increased heavy vehicles on the amenity of Rooty Hill, BHP were required to construct a small, 2km section of controlled-access road in the Philip Parkway reservation. Original plans called for construction as far south as the Great Western Hwy , however, this demand was curtailed to the section between Woodstock Ave and Eastern Road . Construction commenced in April 1990 and included a new railway overpass - the sixth to open in Blacktown and Penrith LGAs during a twelve year period. The two-lane, two-way road was opened to traffic in July 1992.
Following the Commonwealth Government decision in January 1994 to extend the National Highway system into urban areas, the Phillip Parkway became involved with the proposal to construct a motorway-standard road between Liverpool and Hornsby. The preferred route was selected in November 1994 and involved the construction of an ultimate six-lane motorway in the Philip Parkway reservation, continuing south to the Hume Hwy at Prestons and east along the Castlereagh Freeway reservation. For more information on this proposal, click HERE.
Subsequently, as part of construction of the Westlink M7, the Phillip Parkway has been completely reconstructed on a higher, flatter and straighter alignment. In February 2005 traffic was switched onto a new two-lane carriageway between Woodstock Ave and Great Western Highway to allow reconstruction of the old carriageway. The extension of the Parkway was taken outside the existing reservation in order to preserve a small section of remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland atop Rooty Hill. This may have been one of the reasons that the Parkway was not constructed as far south as the Great Western Hwy originally.
From 16 Decmeber 2005 the Phillip Parkway became part of the Westlink M7 and fulfilled its intention of linking the Castlereagh Freeway (now M2 - Hills Motorway) with the Western Freeway (now M4 - Western Motorway).