PRINCES HIGHWAY
Metroad 1 Section: Waterfall to Kogarah


Looking north to the railway overpass at Yarrawarrah. July 2004.

General Overview:

The Princes Hwy has traditionally been the major radial route from the CBD southward. The Metroad 1 section of it still is and probably will be for some time. It is entirely dual carriageway, with 6 lane sections north of Sutherland. South of Sutherland, the highway is typically of higher standard with a 90 zone between Yarrawarrah and Kirrawee and a 100km/h zone between Heathcote and Waterfall showing the high standard of the road.

This road hasnt always been of such high standard. Prior to the naming of the Prince's Highway on 19 October 1920, there were three different routes used between Sydney and the top of Bulli Pass. The first was the "Illawarra Road", splitting from the Princes Highway at Arncliffe, via Forest Rd to Lugarno, through a non-existant Menai and across the Woronora River at "The Needles" to rejoin the current highway at Engadine. The second was a much longer route via Campbelltown and Appin but was over much easier terrain. The third route is that of the current highway, crossing the Georges River by ferry at Tom Uglys Point. The first coordinated roadwork undertaken on the highway was in 1925 when several councils worked together to use Commonwealth Grants and construct a bridge across the Georges River at Tom Uglys Point.

When the Main Roads Board commenced its work in 1925, it immediately began a reconstruction and sealing program for the Princes Hwy. At that stage, the highway was often narrow and congested, and the bitumen only extended south to Sutherland, with a gravel surface as far as Bulli Pass. By 1929 the bitumen had reached Waterfall and the Tom Uglys Bridge was opened to traffic.

During the 1930s the Princes Hwy was progressively sealed with reinforced concrete on the north side of the Georges River and that was progressivley widened to a 6 lane seal by the 1950s. The tolls were removed from Tom Uglys Bridge in May 1952 as the duplication made its way south to Sutherland. In July 1969 a new highway route was constructed at Engadine along the railway line, bypassing the shopping centre. This deviation was completed in July 1969.

Further construction was completed during the 1970s as part of total improvements to the highway in preparation for the opening of the Waterfall-Bulli Tops Tollwork (Southern Freeway). Dual carriageways were provided between Heathcote and Waterfall, as well as a grade-separated interchange at Kooraban Street. In September 1975 traffic began to flow along the Sutherland Bypass. Constructed partly on the F6 reservation and utilising upgraded local streets, the bypass eliminates the need for through traffic to pass through the CBD of Sutherland.

The final significant upgrade to have taken place on this section of highway was the duplication of Tom Uglys Bridge in 1986. This doubled the number of traffic lanes across the river, removing a major bottleneck where 6 lanes of traffic had to share 3 lanes across the bridge. The new bridge carries southbound tarffic, while the old bridge carries three lanes of northbound traffic.

The F6 Southern Freeway was planned to ultimately relieve congestion along the Princes Highway route by removing through traffic. The freeway was seemingly abandoned in 2004 when then Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, announced that the corridor would not be used to construct a freeway or motorway. However, in early 2005 the new Minister for Roads, Michael Costa, announced "I have asked the RTA to maintain the F6 transport corridor to sufficient capacity for possible future transport development, which could include a dual-carriageway road". 1 This is good planning, in my humble opinion, as even if the corridor is not used for a freeway, it could be used for high speed rail or even light rail *shudder*.

Notable events in the history of Princes Hwy (Metroad 1 section):

19 Oct 1920 - Named "Prince's Hwy"
1925 - Reconstruction of highway commenced
8 Aug 1928 - Proclaimed State Highway No. 1
May 1929 - Tom Uglys Bridge (commenced Feb 1925)
1941 - Possessive form removed from name - became "Princes Hwy"
May 1952 - Tom Uglys Bridge tolls removed
1960s - Dual carriageways Loftus to Engadine
Jul 1969 - Engadine Deviation
Jul 1975 - Heathcote to Waterfall dual carriageway
Sep 1975 - Sutherland Bypass
1986 - Tom Uglys Bridge duplicated

Explore Princes Highway (Metroad 1 Section):

Former Alignment: Sutherland
Former Alignment: Engadine
Southern Terminus: Southern Freeway, Waterfall

Photos of Princes Highway (Metroad 1 Section)
President Ave approaching Princes Hwy at Kogarah. Feb 2000.
Princes Hwy northbound where Metroad 1 turns onto President Ave. Feb 2000.
Very old AD sign southbound approaching Rocky Pt Rd with Metroad 1 on a coverplate over NR1. Sep 1993.
Another coverplated sign at the same intersection. Sep 1993.
Southbound approaching Jubilee Ave, Carlton. April 2005.
Metroad 1 trailblazer heading south from Jubilee Ave. April 2005.
Very old AD sign on Park Rd showing Metroad 1 on a coverplate over NR1 and the old focal point of Blakehurst. Sep 1993.
Another great coverplated black sign at the same intersection. Sep 1993.
Heading south approaching King Georges Rd at Blakehurst. Arpil 2005.
Northbound RD sign at King Georges Rd. April 2005.
Start Metroad 1 sign at the end of Metroad 3, Blakehurst. April 2005.
Heading south from King Georges Rd. April 2004.
Southbound approaching Tom Uglys Bridge across the Georges River. April 2004.
Looking south through Sylvania on the southern bank of the Georges River. April 2004.
Southbound approaching Bates Drive at Kirrawee. April 2004.
Further south approaching Waratah Street. April 2004.
First warning of the Sutherland Bypass. Feb 2005.
Approaching the Sutherland Bypass (Acacia Rd). It is interesting that the local name "Acacia Rd" is preferred over the declared Princes Hwy name. Feb 2005.
The Old Princes Hwy heading east approaching the current highway at Kirrawee. Feb 2005.
Northbound on the Sutherland Bypass (Acacia Rd/Princes Hwy) approaching the northern end. Feb 2005.
DMR map showing the routes of the Princes Hwy through Sutherland. 1975.
1975 view of the Sutherland Bypass.
Another 1975 view of the bypass.
Looking south along the Sutherland Bypass. Feb 2005.
Northbound approaching the beginning of the Sutherland Bypass. Rawson Ave is the old Princes Hwy. Feb 2005.
Very very old sign and newly-constructed dual carriageways at Farnell Ave in 1960.
Southbound approaching Farnell Ave. Note the remnant SR68 shield - SR68 was decommissioned in 2004. Feb 2005.
Heading north approaching Farnell Ave. April 2005.
The first RD sign mentioning Melbourne! - heading south from Farnell Ave. July 2004.
1969 aerial view of the Engadine Deviation. The deviation was constructed from an existing road - Railway Pde.
Heading north near Engadine Station. July 2004.
Southbound approaching Heathcote Rd at Heathcote. July 2004.
Northbound approaching Heathcote Rd. Dec 2004.
Looking north on the near freeway-grade section of Princes Hwy between Heathcote and Waterfall. Dec 2004.
Looking south closer to Waterfall. July 2004.
Warning that Metroad 1 ends 1.5km ahead on the northern outskirts of Waterfall. April 2005.
The opposite side of the above sign. April 2005.
Looking south through Waterfall. July 2004.
Metroad 1 trailblazer heading north through Waterfall. Dec 2004.
Metroad 1 on a coverplate over NR1 on this very old black ID sign in Waterfall. 1994.

1. SMH; "Scully buried it, now Costa resurrects F6" (Online); (http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Scully-buried-it-now-Costa-resurrects-F6/2005/03/15/1110649203065.html?oneclick=true); 15/03/2005

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