Metroad 3 : History and Development
Mona Vale Road

Mona Vale Road had been well established as a through route in the early 1900s and was declared Main Road No. 162 in 1928. The first major improvements to the route came in the 1960s with the widening of Mona Vale Road through Pymble and St Ives commencing. The first section, between Killeaton St and Cowan Road through St Ives shooping centre, was completed in 1969. In 1975 both the Pittwater Rd and Forest Way intersections were reconstructed and channelised and the widening of the Mona Vale Road south of St Ives shops was commenced. This latter work was completed in 1977. Duplication of Mona Vale Road as far north as Richmond Ave was completed in 1979.

In October 1977 the State Government cancelled a proposed deviation between Terrey Hills and Alan Street, Mona Vale in favour of the existing route. Further duplication, this time between Richmond Ave and Forest Way (90km/h section) was completed in April 1980 but it wasn't until December 1992 that the Terrey Hills section of dual carriageway (Forest Way to McCarrs Ck Rd) was completed. Recently the RTA has announced widening plans for Mona Vale Rd east of Terrey Hills and the first such instalment was completed at Ingleside (Bahai Temple to Manor Rd) in December 2000.

The grade-separated interchange at Pacific Highway, Pymble, was funded by the Australian Bicentennial Road Development Program and was opened on 21 December 1988.



When the Main Roads Board was established in 1925 this section of road was not yet established as a through route. A two-lane bridge across the Lane Cove River between North Ryde and Pymble had been opened on 23 February 1901 but through Ryde Municpality there was a lack of one major through road. Traffic between De Burghs Bridge and Top Ryde would have travelled along what is now Lane Cove Rd, then east on Epping Rd, south along WIcks Rd, Goulding Rd and Lane Cove Road again.

Prior to 1935 there was no bridge over the Parramatta River and instead traffic used Parkes and Bowden Streets to access a punt between Meadowbank and Rhodes. On the south side of the river traffic used Blaxland Rd to access the ferry landing. A proposal to build a bridge across the river was first submitted to the publi cworks minister in 1913. No action was taken until 1920 when a deputation of councils from Strathfield to Hornsby appealed to the then minister. A site was selected - from Uhrs Point to a point near the Ryde Wharf at the bottom of Belmore Street. In 1924 the public works minister announced he would introduce legislation to give Ryde and Concord councils powers to build the bridge. No action was taken until September 20, 1927 when all interested councils convened a conference at Ryde. In October, the Main Roads Board proposed the bridge should be built from Uhrs Point to Church Street. Construction was set to begin in 1928 when Concord Council decided it woul dprefer the bridge be built at the punt site. The Main Roads Board reiterated its preference for the Uhrs Point to Ryde crossing, Concord Council disagreed and withdrew its support so Ryde Council assmued sole responsibility. Former councillor Peter Graham recalled: " no time were there displayed such acrimony and stupidity, chicanery, aldermanic posturing, deliberate lying and slander as occurred in the Bridge which Ryde Council was abused unceasingly."1 On 17 March 1931 the State Government granted Rude Council £53,000 and the council then rasied a loan of £80,000. On 7 August 1933 construction was commenced. The bridge was designed by the Department of Main Roads with a 34m lifting span that could be raised 25m to allow ships to access the State Timber Yard. The bridge was opened by the Premier, B. Stevens, on 7 December 1935 and operated as a toll facility until midnight on 30 June 1949. Upon opening the bridge was transferred to the control of the Department of Main Roads.

Major improvements came to road in the 1960s through the Department of Main Roads' program to upgrade Ring Road 3. In the early 1960s Ryde Council constructed a new road diagonally up the hill between Quarry Road and Twin Road to provide a more direct route between Top Ryde and De Burghs Bridge. This new road was then handed over to the DMR, gazetted as part of an extension of Main Road No. 162 from Epping Rd to Blaxland Rd on 1 September 1961. The DMR subsequently completed widening to six lanes in December 1975.

The old two-lane De Burghs Bridge was replaced by a new 6-lane concrete structure in December 1967 (the old bridge was later destroyed in the January 1994 bushfires) and associated widening was completed south to Giffnock Ave (between Waterloo Rd and Epping Rd). Widening of Ryde Road to six lanes was completed in 1969-74.

In 1975 construction of a grade-separated interchange at the intersection of Lane Cove and Epping Roads was commenced and it was completed in December 1978. The completion of this interchange brought and end to major widening works on this section of Metroad 3.

With the widening to six lanes completed on the north side of the river, traffic congestion the three lane Ryde Bridge with its bascule opening span worsened. Plans for construction of a duplicate bridge were first developed in 1969 but just as momentum was gaining they were officially halted by a lack of funds in 1985. An injection of Federal Government funding through the Australian Bicentennial Road Development Program enabled construction to commence in 1986 and the new four-lane southbound bridge was opened to traffic in November 1988.

In 1990 action was taken to relieve congestion on Metroad 3 in the Ryde CBD by constructing and underpass beneath Victoria Road. A shortage of funds caused, at first, a slowing of construction and then finally a complete halt in June 1992, much to the irritation of the local community. Construction was recommenced in March 1995 and the underpass was fully opened to traffic in December 1998.


Strathfield Bypass (Homebush Bay Dr, Centenary Dr and Roberts Rd)

Originally, the route passed through the middle of Strathfield CBD along Strathfield Square and via Concord Rd, The Boulevard, Coronation Pde and Punchbowl Rd between Rhodes and Wiley Park. Initial traffi relief was provided in March 1972 with the opening of the Raw Square Extension at Strathfield, enabling through traffic to bypass the CBD.

Between North Strathfield and Wiley Park an alternative route, mainly used by trucks who had origins or destinations in the area, had been available for a number of years via Marlborough Rd, Richmond Rd, Arthur St, Pemberton St, Roberts Rd and Wiley Ave. In the County of Cumberland Planning Scheme of 1951 the Department of Main Roads recognised the need for a future bypass of Strathfield and gazetted a County Road reservation utilising the rough alignment of this alternative route for part of its length. Small improvements such as a new railway overpass at Flemington (November 1976), the realignment of Roberts Road at Greenacre and the extension of Wiley Ave (1972) were undertaken during the 1970s as a prelude to full scale construction.

Construction of the bypass was undertaken over a period of nearly 20 years, beginning in 1983 with the construction of Centenary Drive as a four-lane limited access road between the Hume Highway and Arthur St, replacing Pemberton Street, and the duplication of Roberts Road. In August 1985 work commenced on Homebush Bay Drive, the most important section of the Strathfield Bypass, stretching from Concord Rd at Rhodes to Parramatta Rd at Flemington. This link would be constructed firstly as a two-way, two-lane single carriageway before being duplicated.

The first project to be completed was the first stage of Centenary Drive, which was opened in December 1984, followed by the Roberts Road duplication in 1986. In December 1990 Homebush Bay Drive was opened to traffic between Rhodes and the M4 Motorway, with its southern end joining Parramatta Road directly across from Marlborough Road. This enabled through traffic to bypass Strathfield, using Marlborough Road as an interim connector. In November 1992 ramps were opened at the M4 overpass which enabled traffic to interchange between the two roads. This was followed by the 6-lane elevated section of centenary Drive between the M4 and Arthur St in December 1992 which largely completed the bypass. Further improvements to the new route were completed over the next six years. These included the widening to six lanes of Centenary Drive (December 1996), the provision of a grade-separated interchange at Australia Avenue and duplication of Homebush Bay Dr (February 1998) and the construction of a four-lane overpass connecting Centenary Dr and Roberts Rd (August 1998).


King Georges Road

At its northern end, King Georges Road originally connected to Canterbury Road via Canarys Road, the current alignment was constructed during the 1930s. A small section of dual carriageway was constructed during the early 1960s at South Hurstville but the major upgrade of the road did not begin until the 1970s. Dual carriageways at Blakehurst were constructed during the 1970s followed by widening to six lanes between Stoney Creek Road and Punchbowl Road. Widening of the Hurstville railway overpass and the adjacent dual carriageways were completed in 1991.

1. Blaxell, G. in Northern District Times; Bridge Wars; 14 September 2005; p.19

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