Former alignment: Freemans Waterholes to Beresfield via Kurri Kurri

Branxton-Toronto Rd (SR82) northbound through Mt Vincent, December 2003.

Lifespan: 1988-93 (5 years)

Length: 39km

Northern Terminus: F3 Freeway/John Renshaw Dr/Weakleys Dr, Beresfield

Southern Terminus: F3 Freeway, Freemans Waterholes Interchange

Route taken: State Routes 82/135/132 (Freemans Dr/Branxton-Toronto Rd/Leggetts Lane/Kurri Kurri-Mulbring Rd/Stamford St/Railway St/Tarro St/Mulbring St/John Renshaw Dr)

Focal Points: Traditional focal points for the route were kept, with the exception of Wyong which was changed to Sydney. Taree was added as a northbound focal point, only to distance signs however south of SR132. Because this alignment consisted of several different through routes, the focal points were not rationalised to create a new through route.

RTA Internal Classification: Main Road 220 (SR82), Main Road 195 (SR135), Main Road 588 (SR132)

Replaced by: Simply the NH1 shields were removed after December 1993 as this alignment reverted to its prior numbers.

Route Overview:

When the F3 was opened to Freemans Dr in March 1988, National Highway 1 was re-routed to this interim alignment, providing a bypass of the Newcastle metro area for the first time. This alignment took advantage of existing, well known routes through the lower Hunter valley and actually provided a high quality route without much upgrading. The only reconstruction speciifcally undertaken for this designation was some widening and climbing lanes through Freemans Gap just north of Freemans Waterholes.

Signposting of the route was done mostly via coverplating existing signs, however during the 5 years which NH1 occupied this route many signs were replaced and now have blank patches where NH1 once stood. NH1 shields were generally only erected on distance signs except where NH1 had to make a turn like in Kurri Kurri. This saved money whilst still providing reasonable guidance for motorists.

Signage existed for several years after this alignment was bypassed, i remember seeing NH1 shields on distance signs as late as 2000. Now there are several coverplates that clearly cover the NH1 shield and one lone NH1 shield on a distance sign at Freemans Waterholes. Leaving this shield on this particular sign may actually have been a strategic move by the RTA to reassure motorists that the freeway is close.

Further Reading (on-site):

Article about signage erected at Mulbring in 1991 advising traffic that it is equal distance to Brisbane via either Pacific or New England Highway - Image file (141kb)

Photos of remnants of this former alignment of National Highway 1
The lone remaining National Highway 1 shield on this distance sign southbound at Freemans Waterholes. Photo taken October 2004.
Black painted AD sign on Palmers Rd at Freemans Waterholes clearly showing coverplates over NH1 shields. This sign has since been replaced. Photo taken 1997.
Black painted RD sign northbound from Freemans Waterholes clearly showing SR82 on a coverplate over SR82/NH1 duplex. This sign has since been replaced. Photo taken 1997.
A S130km plate southbound in Mt Vincent, showing the change of focus for SR82 since the NH1 duplex. The duplex not only changed the route numbering but also meant Sydney became a focal point for many new routes. Prior to the duplex, this sign would have probably been a km plate for Toronto or Wyong which were the previous focal points. Photo taken December 2003.
RD sign southbound from the SR82/135 intersection at Mulbring, clearly showing a coverplate over a NH1/SR82 shield assembly. Note the now obsolete 'Hunter Tourist Circuit' shield. Photo taken December 2003.
Not a relic, but its clear that NH1's prescence on SR82 influenced the addition of this sub-sign on this 2003 signposting assembly. Photo taken December 2003.
Bad photo, but you can just make out the 'Sydney/NH1' sign pointing towards John Renshaw Dr. Taken December 1993, just prior to NH1's re-routing.
RD sign north-east bound from the intersection with SR128 at Buchanan. Note the coverplate over a NH1 shield. Photo taken October 2004.
Black painted RD sign in Kurri Kurri. You can just make out where a NH1/SR132 coverplate had been placed on this sign for 5 years or longer. Photo taken October 2004.
ID sign for Railway St in Kurri Kurri. This is where NH1 changed from SR132 duplex to SR135. You can clearly see the blank space where NH1 once was. Photo taken October 2004.
Northbound AD sign on Railway St, Kurri Kurri. You can clearly see where 'Taree' has been coverplated but I cant work out where NH1 would have fitted on this sign, perhaps a topknot? Photo taken October 2004.
ID sign at the corner of Victoria, Tarro & Railway Streets, Kurri Kurri. Again note the blank coverplate over the NH1 shield. Photo taken October 2004.
AD sign westbound on Victoria St (SR132/135), Kurri Kurri. This sign has one blank coverplate for NH1 to turn right but no indication as to where the shield for straight-ahead once sat. Photo taken October 2004.
ID sign at the same intersection, clearly showing a blank coverplate over 'Taree'. Also note the sub-sign pointing the way to the Pacific Hwy. It is unclear where a NH1 shield would have fit on this sign. Again, perhaps a topknot?

Back to F3 Freeway
Back to National Highway 1
Back to State Route 82
Back to State Route 132
Back to State Route 135