Mount Ousley Road section

Mount Ousley Road descending the Illawarra Escarpment. July 2004.

Length: 16km

Northern Terminus: Southern Freeway & Princes Hwy & Mount Ousley Rd, Bulli Tops

Southern Terminus: Southern Freeway & Mount Ousley Rd, Gwynnieville

Focal Points: Sydney, Wollongong

RTA Internal Classification: Main Road 513 (Bulli Tops-Picton Rd), Main Road 95 (Picton Rd-Gwynnieville)

Route Overview:

Mount Ousley Road is the controlled access road that forms the link between the north and south sections of the F6 Southern Freeway. It also serves as the main route up/down the Illawarra Escarpment and the major entrance to Wollongong. Grade separated interchanges are provided at Picton Road (SR88) and Bulli Tops, an at-grade intersection is provided at the beginning of the F6, while all other access is left-in/left-out. National Route 1 is duplexed with SR88 betwene Picton Rd and the F6.

Mount Ousley Road was constructed as a defence route during 1942 to provide an easier route up/down the escarpment than the existing Bulli Pass and Mount Keira routes. Post-war Mount Ousley Road quickly became the preferred route between Sydney and Wollongong, although I am not convinced it was given the National Route 1 shield in 1955. Based on all the evidence I can find, I believe that National Route 1 was routed onto Mount Ousley Road in July 1975, at the opening of the Waterfall-Bulli Tops section of the F6.

Mount Ousley Road was connected directly to the F6 at Gwynnieville in March 1964, further increasing its importance as the main route from Sydney to Wollongong and further south. Thus, in 1965, duplication of the road was commenced and completed over many stages until December 1991. The first section opened to traffic between the F6 and New Mt Pleasant Rd in 1968, the dual carriagways reached Picton Road in 1979 and a major deviation at Cataract Creek was opened in 1980. Bellambi Creek deviation opened to traffic in December 1991, completing the provision of four lanes from Gwynnieville to Bulli Tops.

Widening works soon recommenced, this time with the aim of providing addition climbing lanes on the steepest section - between the F6 and Clive Bissell Dr. A third northbound lane between the F6 and New Mt Pleasant Rd opened in 1995, followed in 1998 by a third lane from the other side of the New Mt Pleasant Rd bridge to Clive Bissell Dr. The widening work was finally completed during 2001 when the widening of the New Mt Pleasant Rd bridge was finished, providing a continuous third northbound lane all the way up the Escarpment.

Notable events:

1942 - Constructed as defence route
Mar 1964 - Link to the F6 at Gwynnieville
1965 - Duplication commenced
1979 - Section south of Picton Road duplication completed
1980 - Cataract Creek deviation
Dec 1991 - Bellambi Creek deviation; duplication completed
1995-99 - Widening to six lanes south of Picton Rd

Further reading (on-site):

Northern Terminus: Bulli Tops Interchange

Photos of National Route 1 - Mount Ousley Road section
Looking north across Bellambi Creek with the old road on the left. July 2004.
Looking south to Cataract Creek. July 2004.
AD sign for Picton Road interchange. This sign should show SR88 straight aswell, as SR88 duplexes with NR1 between here and Gwynnieville. July 2004.
RD sign northbound from Picton Road. April 2005.
Lane allocation sign eastbound on Picton Rd approaching NR1. Unusual that it shows the oncoming lane set-up too. Dec 2004.
Gantry signage on Picton Rd at the Mt Ousley Rd interchange. Dec 2004.
Looking north to the Picton Road interchange. April 2005.
Southbound RD sign from Picton Road and a 40km/h speed limit sign for large vehicles on the steep descent. July 2004.
Southbound approaching the dscent of the Illawarra Escarpment. July 2004.
Reconstruction and widening work during 1981 at the Mt Pleasant Road overpass. Scanned from DMR journal.
Similar view in April 2005 showing the widened road.

Back to Highway 1 (NSW)
Back to F6 Southern Freeway