State Route 111
Pacific Highway & Doyalson Link Road

Pacific Highway heading south-east in Sandgate. Oct 2004.

In 2013, RMS will be implementing a new alpha-numeric route numbering system. For more information, visit the RMS Website.

Forthcoming alpha-numeric route number:

(Wallarah Creek to Newcastle West & Mayfield West to Hexham sections only)

Length: 74km

Northern Terminus: Pacific Highway & New England Highway, Hexham

Southern Terminus: F3 Freeway & Motorway Link, Wallarah Creek Interchange

Route taken: Motorway Link, Pacific Highway

Focal Points: Sydney, Charlestown, Newcastle, Maitland/Taree

RTA Internal Classification: Main Road 675 (Motorway Link) & State Highway 10 (Pacific Highway)

Route Overview:

State Route 111 directly replaced National Route 1 in March 1988 when the latter was re-routed along the interim National Highway route through Kurri Kurri. The route begins in the south at the Wallarah Creek Interchange with the F3 Freeway, heading north-east along the Motorway Link to join Pacific Highway at Doyalson. From Doyalson SR111 follows Pacific Highway all the way to Hexham where National Route 1 rejoins the highway.

Prior to proclamation as a state highway in 1928, the route was already well established as the line of communication between Newcastle and the Central Coast despite the lack of a road connection to Sydney. The first major construction on the highway came in the 1920's when a deviation was constructed around Catherine Hill Bay, south of Swansea, to enable coal mining to take placen in the vicinity of the highway route as well as eliminating a toruous section with steep grades.

The newly formed Main Roads Board proclaimed the road between Sydney and Newcastle part of State Highway No. 9 in 1928 and named it Great Northern Highway. The Great Northern Highway continued north from Newcastle along what is now called the New England Highway to Tenterfield and the Mt Lindesay Hwy to Brisbane. In May 1931 the NSW Government renamed the coastal highway between Sydney and Brisbane Pacific Highway and re-gazetted the Sydney to Newcastle section as part of State Highway No.10 - the Pacific Highway.

In the the post-war years of the 1940's the conditions of the highway came under close scrutiny from the motoring public, especially the section between Sandgate and Hexham where it was was reported by one DMR officer that one 'had to wade through Hexham Swamp after rain'. The Northumberland Planning Scheme was gazetted in August 1946, providing a statutory plan of upgrade for the highway. A bypass of central Newcastle was proclaimed - State Highway No.23 - to relieve the city of through traffic and reservations for the preliminary alignment of the F3 between Parbury Rd, Swansea and Scenic Drive, Merewether Heights gazetted an acquired.

Reconstruction of the highway was commenced in the early 1950's with opening of the Hexham Bridge and the replacement of the Swansea Bridge and in 1955 the highway was designated part of National Route 1 with route marking signs erected that year. The Hexham Bridge works included a deviation of the highway to meet the new bridge near Hexham Station. The old highway is still in use today and is called "Old Maitland Rd".

Severe damage was caused to the highway between Mayfield West and Hexham during the 1949 and 1955 Hunter River floods, culminating in the collapse of the Ironbark Creek Bridge in early 1956. The bridge across Ironbark Creek - which is the tidal estuary that feeds Hexham Swamp - was replaced by a permanent four-lane structure in April 1962, theconstruction of dual carriageways was completed between Mayfield West and Hexham Bridge in January 1967. A major deviation on the south side of Newcastle was completed in 1959, taking the Pacific Highway around Adamstown and Broadmeadow, until then the highway being the main street of both towns. The new deviation meant the highway entered the CBD from the south along Stewart Ave, rather than from the west along Tudor St.

The 1970's brought about dual carriageways on the highway, especially between Belmont and Swansea where extensive subdivison was taking place. In November 1974 the highway south of Parbury Rd, Swansea was declared part of the National Highway - later revoked in favour of the freeway route passing west of Lake Macquarie. The construction of the freeway around between Kangy Angy and Doyalson seemed to enhance the need for dual carriageways south of Swansea as the first section, duplicating the Catherine Hill Bay Deviation, was completed in 1984. Dual carriageways between Doyalson and Swansea were completed in November 1992 with the opening of the Swansea Bends Bypass, closely preceded by the Swansea Bridge duplication.

In March 1988 the highway received the SR111 designation, replacing NR1 directly. Since the upgrades were completed south of Swansea there hasnt been any major improvements to the route itself. However, in March 2003 the West Charlestown Bypass was opened which took a considerable amount of traffic off the route, especially through Charlestown. In July 2004 the NSW Government reconsidered the proposed Belmont to Adamstown Expressway when Lake Macquarie City Council requested that the acquisition order be removed. I dont think the issue of this transport reservation has been resolved yet, we may see a decision when the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources releases their next planning document in 2005.

Notable events in the history of State Route 111:

1927-1930 - Catherine Hill Bay Deviation
1928 - Proclaimed State Highway No.9 (Great Northern Highway)
May 1931 - Proclaimed State Highway No.10 and named Pacific Highway
1955 - NR1 signage erected
Dec 1955 - Swansea Bridge (commenced Feb 1952; replaced Nov 1909 timber bridge)
1959 - Adamstown Heights to Newcastle West Deviation
1956 - Ironbark Creek Bridge, Hexham, collapsed in flood
Apr 1962 - Ironbark Creek Bridge replaced
Oct 1966 - Federal Government announced that the expressway from Adamstown to Belmont would be started before 1970
Jan 1967 - Dual carriageways completed between Mayfield West and Hexham
Dec 1968 - Brunker Rd to Kahibah Rd 6-laning
Jul 1970 - Kahibah Rd to Charlestown 6-laning & Belmont to Swansea dual carriageways commenced
Dec 1973 - Belmont to Swansea dual carriageways completed
Nov 1974 - Declared a National Highway south of Parbury Rd, Swansea
Nov 1977 - Federal Government agrees to fund the upgrade to 4 lanes between Doyalson and Swansea depsite National Highway being moved west of Lake Macquarie
1984 - Catherine Hill Bay Deviation dual carriageways
Jun 1985 - Charlestown to North Belmont dual carriageways completed (including Gateshead Hill)
Dec 1985 - Doyalson to Kanangra Drive dual carriageways
Mar 1988 - SR111 replaced NR1 which was re-routed onto interim National Highway route through Kurri Kurri
May 1992 - Swansea Bridge duplication (commenced Jun 1989)
Nov 1992 - Swansea Bends Bypassed

Further Reading (on-site):

SR111 Southern Terminus - F3 Freeway, Wallarah Creek Interchange
Remnants of National Highway 1 on Motorway Link (1983-88)
Remnants of National Route 1 on Pacific Highway & Old Alignments (1955-1988)

Photos of State Route 111
Northbound RD sign on Motorway Link from the Tooheys Rd Interchange at Bushells Ridge. Dec 2003.
Southbound RD sign on Motorway Link from the Pacific Hwy intersection at Doyalson. Dec 2003.
Northbound approaching the Pacific Hwy intersection at Doyalson. Dec 2003.
Southbound approaching the beginning of Motorway Link at Doyalson. Oct 2004.
Southbound AD sign approaching the Wyee Rd & Scenic Dr intersection at Doyalson. Dec 2005.
Looking north from the Wyee Rd & Scenic Dr intersection, Doyalson. Oct 2004.
Looking north on the near freeway standard section at Doyalson North. Oct 2004.
Looking south in Lake Munmorah. The wide median ahead may have been where the proposed alignment of the F3 Freeway would have left the current highway alignment to bypass Lake Munmorah. That proposal was canned in the 70's in favour of bypassing Newcastle to the west of Lake Macquarie. Dec 2005.
ID sign at Kanangra Dr/Blue Wren Dr intersection at Crangan Bay during the Jan 2000 bushfires. Thanks to Shayne Kerr for this photo.
Non-reflective painted AD sign with NR1 underneath a SR111 coverplate heading south towards Kanangra Dr & Blue Wren Drive, Crangan Bay. This sign was replaced in 2004. Dec 2003.
Looking north as you enter Nords Wharf and the "Hunter" Region. Dec 2003.
MIne subsidence sign, a common sight between Doyalson and Swansea where extensive coal mining has taken place since the 1800's. In fact, this section of highway was constructed in the 1920's to allow mining to take place along part of the route of the old highway through Catherine Hill Bay. Flowers Drive is the only remaining section of the pre-1920's highway. Dec 2005.
Erroneous NR1 shield at the intersection of Awabakal Rd, Nords Wharf. This sign is probably a direct replacement of an old black painted sign and the maintainance crew wouldn't have known to change the shield. Dec 2003.
Typical view southbound between Swansea and Lake Munmorah, this particular view is looking south near Awabakal Rd. Dec 2005.
Looking south on the Swansea Bends bypass, opened in Nov 1992. Dec 2005.
Distance sign heading north from a yet-to-be opened interchange on the Swansea Bends Bypass. Oct 2005.
Leaving Swansea to the south on the Swansea Bends Bypass. Dec 2003.
Southbound "lane allocation" AD sign approaching the Old Pacific Hwy/Bowman St roundabout in Swansea. Dec 2003.
Looking north through Swansea. This dual carriageway came into service in conjunction with the Swansea Bridge duplication in May 1992. Dec 2003.
Looking south across Swansea Bridge. The newer span (opened 1992) carries southbound traffic, while the older span (opened 1955) carries northbound traffic. Dec 2005.
Black fingerboard sign at Marks Point Rd, Marks Point. The SR111 shield covers a NR1 shield. Dec 2003.
Dual carriageways at South Belmont in 1978. Note the old Esso petrol station.
Looking north approaching the SR131 intersection in Belmont. Oct 2004.
Heading north from Belmont. Oct 2004.
Heading south from Wommara Ave, North Belmont. Dec 2005.
Another black fingerboard sign with NR1 underneath the SR111 shield, this time at Violet Town Rd, North Belmont. Dec 2003.
Headign south up Jewells Hill. Dec 2003.
Increasingly rare fingerboard signage at Ntaba Rd, Jewells. Dec 2003.
Distance sign heading south from Bennetts Green. Dec 2005.
Northbound approaching the West Charlestown Bypass, which opened to traffic in March 2003. May 2003.
Heading north through Gateshead. Oct 2004.
Heading south from Warerns Bay Rd, Charlestown. Dec 2005.
Dual ID signs at Dudley Rd, Charlestown. Oct 2004.
Looking south through Charlestown CBD. Dec 2005.
Approaching the former alignment of SR123, Charlestown Rd (SR123 now uses the West Charlestown Bypass). Note the LCD screen showing changing lane arrangments during peak hours. Oct 2004.
Heading north from Charlestown Rd through Highfields. Oct 2004.
Heading south from Northcott Drive through Adamstown Heights. Dec 2003.
1980's black AD sign approaching Northcott Drive (SR121). This sign has since been replaced. Dec 2003.
Heading south on Northcott Drive, approaching Pacific Hwy. Note the SR111 shield is covering a NR1 shield. I took this one on work experience at the RTA :-) Jan 2003.
Another black AD sign dating from the NR1 days, this time southbound approaching Northcott Dr. This sign has since been replaced. Dec 2003.
Heading north from Brunker Rd, Adamstown Heights. Oct 2004.
Looking north from Scenic Drive, through the 3 lane cutting constructed in 1959. May 2003.
Looking south at the intersection of Alice and Hugh Streets, Merewether. May 2003.
Looking south from Glebe Rd, Merewether. I believe the vacant land on the left is a remnant of a colliery rail line that was decomissioned prior to the Pacific Hwy being constructed through here in 1959. Oct 2004.
Typical 1990's Newcastle-Region signage, very neat and concise. Glebe Rd, Merewether. Dec 2003.
Looking south along Stewart Ave in Newcastle West. April 2005.
Northbound on Stewart Ave approaching Parry St/King St, Newcastle West. Oct 2004.
Looking north approaching Hunter St, where SR111 turns west. Note that Maitland/Taree is now signed along SR124 to bypass the suburbs of Islington and Mayfield. Oct 2004.
Looking west towards Tudor St (SR128) in Newcastle West. This sign has been replaced. Dec 2003.
ID sign at the end of Tudor St. It is interesting that the name "Hunter Street" is used rather than Pacific Highway. Oct 2004.
Looking east in Newcastle West approaching Tudor St. April 2005.
Fingerboard sign at Beaumont Street, Islington. You can see the declared road name on the RTA sign and the local name on the council sign. Dec 2003.
Looking east towards Tighes Hill. Oct 2004.
Black ID signs at Hanbury St, Mayfield. These have since been replaced. Dec 2003.
Looking east through Mayfield. Oct 2004.
Looking east through Mayfield West. Oct 2004.
Close up of the sign in the background of the above photo at Maud St & Werribi St, Mayfield West. Oct 2004.
Heading east from the Industrial Dr intersection, Mayfield West. Oct 2004.
Looking east towards Industrial Drive. This sign is typical of the gigantic ones that have been rerected in recent years across northern Newcastle. Oct 2004.
Looking east through Sandgate in the afternoon. Note the traffic banked up from the Wallsend Rd lights for almost 1km. Oct 2004.
North-west bound approaching Wallsend Rd, Sandgate. Oct 2004.
Poor injured AD sign south-east bound approaching Wallsend Rd. April 2004.
RD sign heading north-west from Wallsend Rd. Dubbo gets a mention thanks to a politcal ploy to try and get closer links between Newcastle and Dubbo. Unfortunately, this is the last mention of Dubbo you will get until the Golden Highway, some 50km away. Oct 2004.
Looking south at Old Maitland Rd where the median opens up in preparation for the future extension of State Highway No. 23 (the partial freeway inner city bypass of Newcastle - SR123). Oct 2004.
Newcastle kilometre-plate eastbound in Hexham. Oct 2004.
New cantilevered AD sign for the Hexham Interchange. This is where SR111 ends and the Pacific Highway becomes NR1. Oct 2004.
RD sign, now removed since the reconstruction of the Hexham Bridge approaches in 2003, marking the start of SR111. Thanks to Shayne Kerr for this pic, taken in Dec 2002.
Southbound AD sign on Pacific Hwy approaching the Hexham Interchange. Thanks to Shayne Kerr for this pic, taken in Dec 2002.
The New England Highway heading eastbound approaching the Hexham Interchange. This sign isnt the first mention of SR111 from this approach, a gantry about 2km back mentions it. Oct 2004.

Last updated 12 December 2012
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