A branch of the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway

Looking east on Newcastle Link Rd, east of Minmi Road, October 2004.

Length: 7km

Western Terminus: F3 Freeway, Newcastle Interchange

Eastern Terminus: Lake Road & Thomas St, Wallsend

Route Number: None yet, however it is clearly evident that it will recieve an alpha-numeric number in the future.

Focal Points: Maitland/Sydney, Wallsend/Newcastle

RTA Internal Classification: Main Road 82

Opened to traffic: December 1993

Route Overview:

The Newcastle Link Rd is the major access from Newcastle to the F3 Freeway, constructed as part of the Palmers Rd-Minmi stage of the F3. The link is a 90km/h 4-lane 'expressway' but with 3 large radius roundabouts at Cameron Park Dr, Minmi Rd and an unconstructed road that will access new housing development north of Glendale. There is no provison for grade separation of these roundabouts but i suppose construction of any interchanges wouldn't do much to erase any congestion as it will just end up at the Lake Rd roundabout anyway.

The link traverses former coal mining land that has sat unused for several decades and superseded a winding section Minmi Rd between Edgeworth and Minmi. The empty land either side of the link will eventually be filled by residential development.

The western end of the link is proposed to be reconstructed into a four-way fully grade-separated interchange as part of the F3-Branxton Link. An EIS for this project was published in 1995 but construction has been stalling for years. Money has been allocated under Auslink so there is life in the project yet.

Signposting on the link is quite primitive with no road name patches, perhaps because it is being treated like a freeway. The focal points of Maitland/Sydney are used because it is quicker to reach Maitland via the freeway than to go via Hexham. Once the F3-Branxton Link opens, new focal points like Singleton or Muswellbrook will be needed.

Photos of Newcastle Link Road
Eastbound approaching Cameron Park Dr/Woddford St roundabout, the first one you encounter after leaving the freeway. This is a new sign, installed in 2002 and you can make out where an alpha-numeric number lies beneath a blnk coverplate for straight-ahead. Photo taken October 2004.
Eastbound approaching Minmi Rd roundabout, giving access to Edgeworth and Cardiff via SR128. This is an original sign, dating from opening of the road in 1993. Photo taken October 2004.
Eastbound at the roundabout that doesnt actually go anywhere yet lol. This roundabout is for the future residential development on old coal mining land. Photo taken October 2004.
Eastbound approaching where the link joins the Newcastle arterial road network at Wallsend. Straight ahead is Thomas St and left & right is Lake Rd. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking east up Thomas St which was duplicated as part of the construction of Newcastle Link Rd. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking west on Thomas St approaching the start of the link. This sign was installed in 2002 but does not allow for inclusion of an alpha-numeric route marker. Photo taken April 2004.
Same location, old sign. This 1998 shows how the link was previously signposted, the 'To NH1 Freeway' signs being popular all over Newcastle.
New ID sign with blank coverplate over alpha-numeric route marker, installed in 2002. Photo taken October 2004.
Same location, old sign. This 1998 photo shows the 'To NH1 Freeway' signs that were (and still are) common all over Newcastle following the opening of the link road.
Westbound approaching Cameron Park Dr/Woodford St roundabout. Photo taken April 2004.
Northbound Minmi Rd approaching Newcastle Link Rd. 'Minmi' is included as a focal point becuase the link susperseded a winding section of Minmi Rd that connected to Cameron Park Dr & Woodford St. Photo taken October 2004.
ID sign at the Minmi Rd roundabout showing the newly-opened link without landscaping. As you can see from the other photos landscaping eventually makes the road look beautiful. Photo taken 1994.

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