One half of the Parramatta Ring Road!

Looking west along the Cumberland Highway section towards Windsor Rd. Jan 2004.

Length: 7km

Northern Terminus: Cumberland Hwy & Windsor Rd, Northmead

Southern Terminus: Parramatta Rd & James Ruse Dr & Berry St, Granville

Route Markers: Metroad 7 (Cumberland Hwy section only)

Former route numbers: State Route 53 (entire length 1981-1988), State Route 55 (south of Cumberland Hwy 1988-2004)

Note: The section of James Ruse Dr between Pennant Hills Rd and Windsor Rd's declared name is Cumberland Hwy. Signage prefers this name over the James Ruse Drive name - one distance sign on the road refers to both. This section was originally known solely as James Ruse Drive when constructed - this is why I have included it.

Opened to traffic:

Jun 1984 - Clyde railway overpass
Apr 1986 - M4 Interchange
Jun 1966 - Parramatta River Bridge
Dec 1992 - Victoria Road interchange
Nov 1975 - Kissing Point Rd interchange (south-facing ramps only)
Sep 1992 - Kissing Point Rd interchange north-facing ramps
Jun 1977 - Kissing Point Rd to Pennant Hills Road
Sep 1979 - Pennant Hills Rd to Windsor Rd


James Ruse Drive is the name given to the eastern portion of the Parramatta Ring Road - a larger project comprised of the Cumberland Highway between Pennant Hills Rd and M4; and the M4 between James Ruse Drive and Cumberland Highway. The Parramatta Ring Road project was commenced in 1964 with the construction of the bridge across Parramatta River on James Ruse Drive (then Aston Street) and was completed in May 1992 with the opening of the Mays Hill to Prospect section of the M4. This page focuses only on the James Ruse Drive portion of the route - the other portions falling under the M4 or Cumberland Hwy jurisdictions.

In 1964 only suburban streets existed along the James Ruse Drive route. From Kissing Pt Rd, Rydalmere Avenue headed to the north bank of the Parramatta River - where no crossing was provided. On the south side of the river Aston Ave and Berry Street continued southwards to the Gt Western Hwy (Parramatta Rd) at Granville. Construction began on the bridge across Parramatta River in 1964 and was completed in June 1966. The six-lane bridge connected an upgraded Rydalmere Avenue with the 4-lane undivided Aston Avenue.

Construction inched north with the opening of the Kissing Point Rd south-facing ramps in November 1975. Two years later, in June 1977, the new expressway grade road from Kissing Pt Rd to Pennant Hills Rd was opened to traffic. Another 2km extension of the expressway conditions was opened in September 1979, from Pennant Hills Rd to Windsor Rd. It was at the opening of this stage that the route was named James Ruse Drive and given the State Route 53 shield.

At the southern end, construction was underway to widen the Aston St and Berry St sections to 6 lanes and grade-separate the railway crossing at Clyde. Mixed in with it was the construction of a grade-seperated interchange with the M4 at A'Becketts Creek. The railway overpass and 6-laning between Grand Ave and the M4 was completed in June 1984 - the route completed two years later, in April 1986 - with opening of the M4 Interchange.

In August 1988 the northern 2km of James Ruse Drive was declared part of State Highway No. 13 - Cumberland Highway. Signage now prefers the declared name although locals still know that section as James Ruse Drive. August 1988 was also a major change in the route marking - SR53 was decommissioned and replaced by SR55 (south of Pennant Hills Rd) and SR77 (north of Pennant Hills Rd). Metroad 7 then replaced SR77 in 1993.

Despite the majority of the route being completed in 1986, the Victoria Rd at-grade intersection remained a bottleneck. This was rectified in December 1992 when the grade separated interchange opened to traffic. This interchange allows for all but one turning movement - including four that are free flowing. It was a perfect solution for a major intersection with a very large amount of turning traffic.

In June 2004 State Route 55 was decommissioned, leaving James Ruse Drive without a number for all but 2km of its length.

Further Reading:
For more information on the Parramatta Ring Road check out these links -
State Route 53
M4 Motorway
Cumberland Highway

Photos of James Ruse Drive
Heading east on Parramatta Rd approaching the start of James Ruse Drive at Granville. May 2004.
And again, this time closer to the intersection. May 2004.
Southbound on James Ruse Drive approaching its terminus at Parramatta Rd. May 2004.
Northbound on James Ruse Drive at the M4 interchange. May 2004.
Signage from the M4 eastbound for James Ruse Drive. May 2004.
This RD sign has since been removed - quite where they pulled Eastwood from as a focal point is beyond me seeing as it isnt followed up on any other signs. Jan 2004.
Looking south at the M4 Interchange. May 2004.
Northbound RD sign at the M4 Interchange. May 2004.
ID signs at Hasall St, Rosehill. May 2004.
Cantilevered AD sign heading south on James Ruse Drive. May 2004.
Approaching James Ruse Drive from Victoria Rd. May 2004.
Northbound at the Victoria Rd interchange. Jan 2004.
Looking south from the Victoria Rd overpass. May 2004.
RD sign southbound from Victoria Rd. May 2004.
Heading south towards Victoria Rd. May 2004.
Unusual style of ID signs at Kissing Pt Rd. Jan 2004.
Looking south to Kissing Point Rd. May 2004.
Diagrammatic AD sign on Pennant St. May 2004.
Unsual RD sign heading north from Kissing Pt Rd. Jan 2004.
AD sign for the Cumberland Hwy/Pennant Hills Rd exit. Note the use of the declared name rather than local names. May 2004.
Approaching James Ruse Dr from Cumberland Hwy (Pennant Hills Rd). May 2004.
The southbound off-ramp to Cumberland Hwy. May 2004.
RD sign heading south from Cumberland Hwy. May 2004.
More unusual ID signs northbound at Cumberland Hwy. May 2004.
More unusual ID signs southbound at Cumberland Hwy. Note the focal points of "Ryde" & "Sydney" - neither of which are on SR55 - that show the distributor nature of James Ruse Drive. May 2004.
Heading west towards Windsor Rd. This is the Cumberland Highway section. May 2004.
Metroad 7 trailblazer - now removed - westbound approaching Windsor Rd. May 2004.
Approaching Windsor Rd from the west. May 2004.
More typical James Ruse Dr ID signs at Windsor Rd. Jan 2004.
The dual-named RD sign heading east from Windsor Rd. Mar 2005.


Historic Photos of James Ruse Drive
Looking west over the Kissing Pt Rd-Pennant Hills RD section during construction. 1977.
Looking south over Kissing Pt Rd to Victoria Rd. 1977.
Looking south over the Pennant Hills Rd interchange under construction. 1979.
Pennant Hills Rd interchange completed. 1979.
The Cumberland Hwy section completed. 1980.
Construction at Windsor Rd. 1980.
Looking south over construction of the Clyde railway overpass. 1982.

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