State Route 121
Kotara - Mayfield - Williamtown

Looking south along Turton Rd outside the Newcastle Sports Centre (a.k.a. Energy Australia Stadium, the home of the Newcastle Knights). 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:

Length: 29km

Northern Terminus: Nelson Bay Rd & Cabbage Tree Rd, Williamtown

Southern Terminus: Pacific Hwy & Northcott Dr, Adamstown Heights

Route taken: Northcott Dr, Bridges Rd, Turton Rd, Station St, Platt St, Railway St, Hanbury St, Vine St, Industrial Dr, Tourle St, Cormorant Rd, Teal St, Nelson Bay Rd

Focal Points: Charlestown, Mayfield, Newcastle (sb only), Stockton (nb only), Nelson Bay

RTA Internal Classification: Main Road 326 (south of Industrial Dr), Main Road 316 (Industrial Dr), Main Road 108 (north of Industrial Dr)

Route Overview:

State Route 121 is a north-south route through the mid-western suburbs of Newcastle, Kooragang Island and along the Stockton Bight. Initially the route was a major bypass route for traffic wishing to access Kooragang Island and Nelson Bay but the construction of the F3 has diminished this role. Today, SR121 serves the inter-suburban traffic to and from major centres such as Charlestown, Kotara, Waratah and Mayfield.

The route was introduced in 1974, orginally extending from Charlestown to Williamtown then north along Medowie Rd to meet the Pacific Highway near Twelve Mile Creek (between Raymond Terrace and Karuah). This routing emphasised its role as an alternative to the Pacific Hwy and also provided for fast access to Nelson Bay from the north.

The Medowie Rd portion of the route was constructed in 1942 to provide increased access to the Williamtown RAAF Base. An expansion of steel-making and port facilities at Newcastle in the 1960's meant the decomissioning of the Stockton Car Ferry, established in the 1930's, which had carried motorists from the Stockton Peninsula to Merewether St, Newcastle. The route planned in the Northumberland Planning Scheme saw bridges across both arms of the Hunter River and a new road across Kooragang Island to connect them. The first of the bridges, a steel truss bridge across the south arm on Tourle Street, was opened to traffic in February 1965. The second bridge, the Stockton Bridge across the north arm of the river, opened to traffic in November 1971 and is one of the most elegant looking bridges in the state. The final major project to be constructed on this route was the Fullarton Cove Deviation, a super-2 expressway bypassing a flood-prone section of road through Fullarton Cove, which opened in the early 1970's. The deviation includes a south-facing half diamond interchange at Coxs Lane for access to/from the quarry and sand-mining operations.

In 1994, when a re-structure of road ownership and classification in the Hunter Region was undertaken, Medowie Rd was handed back to Port Stephens Council to own and maintain. SR121 was subsequently decomissioned north of Williamtown, however many signs on the ground do not reflect this change as they date from '94 or earlier. To this day 4km of Medowie Rd remains unsealed between Medowie township and he Pacific Highway.

Today, SR121 serves a localised role. There are still many undivided sections of the route, some with two lanes, including through Mayfield and Adamstown Heights. There are plans to duplicate the Tourle St Bridge and Cormorant Rd across Kooragang Island but no construction timeframe has been released.

Notable events in the history of SR121:

1942 - Medowie Rd portion of route constructed
Feb 1965 - Tourle Street Bridge
Nov 1971 - Stockton Bridge
Dec 1972 - Fullarton Cove Deviation
1974 - Route introduced
1994 - Medowie Rd returned to Port Stephens Council ownership & SR121 truncated at Williamtown

Photos of State Route 121
Northbound on Pacific Hwy approaching the beginning of SR121 at Northcott Dr, Adamstown Hts. Dec 2003.
Southbound on Pacific Hwy approaching the beginning of SR121. Dec 2003.
ID signs pointing out the start of SR121. Dec 2003.
Southbound ID signs, remnants of the NR1 days. These have since been replaced. Dec 1998.
Southbound AD sign signalling the end of SR121. No "END" sign tho :-( Jan 2003.
First RD sign northbound on SR121. Jan 2003.
Looking north on Northcott Drive through Adamstown Heights. Jan 1998.
Looking north to the Kotara railway overpass. Oct 2004.
Eastbound on Carnely Avenue approaching SR121 - Northcott Dr & Bridges Rd - at New Lambton. June 2003.
Old black AD sign southbound on Northcott Dr approaching Carnley Ave. Jan 2003.
The sign that replaced the above one. June 2003.
LOoking north along Bridges Rd through New Lambton. Oct 2004.
Eastbound on St James Rd approaching SR121. Oct 2004.
Black ID sign at St James Rd that has since been replaced. Jan 2003.
Southbound on Bridges Rd approaching St James Rd. Oct 2004.
Old black AD sign, installed in 1988, at the intersection of Turton Rd & Bridges Rd & Lambton Rd, New Lambton. Jan 1998.
Looking south to the above intersection. Jan 1998.
Looking north from the above intersection. Nov 2004.
Northbound AD sign for Griffiths Rd, which is clearly going to receive an alpha-numeric route number. Oct 2004.
Black ID sign at Turton Rd & Griffiths Rd intersection, Lambton. Dec 2003.
Opposite side of above sign and a nice close-up of a red light camera. Dec 2003.
Black AD sign southbound approaching Griffiths Rd. Note the "To NH1 Freeway" plate above the main AD sign. These were installed in Dec 1993 to show that the F3 had opened as far as Minmi and to try and attract long-distance traffic away from the Pacific Hwy and other traditional routes. These signs are no longer used, instead the focal point of Sydney is in the process of being removed from signs along SR121 and SR123 and has been added to the Griffiths Rd/Newcastle Rd route. Oct 2004.
Black ID sign on a type 6 structure at the intersection of Turton Rd & Station St, Waratah. Dec 2003.
Looking south on Railway Tce approaching the Waratah Railway Bridge. Oct 2004.
New ID sign at the intersection of Pacific Highway & Hanbury St, Mayfield. Oct 2004.
Southbound AD sign approaching the Pacific Hwy in Mayfield. Taree is not used a focal point right here because once upon a time SR121 extended to meet the Pacific Hwy near Karuah and that was the way to Taree. Oct 2004.
Looking south into Mayfield along Hanbury Street. Aug 2004.
Extremely old and faded RD sign heading south from Industrial Dr on Vine St, Mayfield. Dec 2003.
The sign that replaced the above one. Oct 2004.
Northbound approaching Industrial Dr and the SR124 duplex. Oct 2004.
Eastbound on Industrial Dr approaching Vine St. Thanks to Shayne Kerr for this 2000 pic.
Looking west to Tourle St. Oct 2004.
Looking east on Sr124 approaching Tourle St and the Sr121 duplex. Oct 2004.
Looking south on Tourle St approaching Industrial Dr. Thanks to Shayne Kerr for this 1998 pic.
The sign that repalced the above one in 2002. Aug 2004.
Heading north from Industrial Dr on Tourle St. Oct 2004.
Looking north to the Tourle St Bridge, one of the last steel truss structures the DMR ever constructed. Oct 2004.
Looking east along Cormorant Rd, Kooragang Island. This is only supposed to be an interim alignment, the Northumberland County Planning Scheme had reserved a corridor to the north for a direct connection to Stockton Bridge. Oct 2004.
Looking north on Teal St from the Cormorant Rd intersection, Kooragang Island. Oct 2004.
Looking east to Stockton Bridge. Oct 2004.
Similar view following opening in November 1971.
Aerial view of Stockton Bridge, 1971.
Aerial view of construction of the bridge during 1970.
Looking west to Stockton Bridge from the Fullarton Street intersection, Fern Bay.
Photo taken: December 2005.
Black AD sign northbound on Fullerton Street approaching the junction with Nelson Bay Rd, Fern Bay. This sign has since been replaced.
Photo taken: December 2005.
Looking north from Fullarton St into Ferm Bay (formerly known as North Stockton). Oct 2004.
Heading north on the expressway-conditions Fullarton Cove Deviation (Nelson Bay Road). Oct 2004.
Looking south at the Coxs Lane interchange. Aug 2004.
Looking north into Williamtown. Oct 2004.
Looking south approaching the start of SR121 at Cabbage Tree Rd, Williamtown. Oct 2004.
Looking south from the WIlliamtown, this is the first RD sign on SR121. Aug 2004.


Photos of State Route 121 former alignment - Williamtown to Pacific Hwy via Medowie Rd (1974-1994)
AD sign still showing SR121/122 duplex eatsbound on Cabbage Tree Rd, Williamtown. Dec 2003.
AD sign approaching the Medowie Rd & Nelson Bay Rd intersection, Williamtown, that still shows SR121 along Medowie Rd. Oct 2004.
RD sign, now removed, that showed SR121/122 duplex through Williamtown. Thanks to Shayne Kerr for this 2000 photo.
AD sign westbound approaching Medowie Rd still showing SR121/122 duplex and SR121 on Medowie Rd. Dec 2003.
Medowie Rd southbound approaching Nelson Bay Rd, still with SR121/122 duplex. Aug 2004.
LOoking north along Medowie Rd with the RD sign still showing SR121 and the long-distance focal point of Taree. Oct 2004.
Odd roundabout AD sign at the Medowie Rd & Richardson Rd intersection in Campvale. SR121 never went right, as this sign states, but rather wen straight ahead. Interesting that this sign points you left to Taree, probably due to the 4km of unsealed Medowie Rd. Oct 2004.
Eastbound on Richardson Rd still showing Sr121 in both directions. Oct 2004.
Westbound on Richardson Rd still showing Sr121 in both directions. Oct 2004.
Southbound on Medowie Rd showing SR121 straight. Oct 2004.
Northbound on Pacific Highway, no sign of a SR121 shield. Aug 2004.
Southbound on Pacific Highway, again no sign of a SR121 shield. There was a faded black AD sign that showed SR121 here until 1998/99 when the highway was reconstructed and this sign installed. Aug 2004.
Port Stephens Council warning motorists that Medowie Rd is unsealed. Aug 2004.
The northern end of the unsealed road itself. Aug 2004.

Last updated 12 December 2012
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