Pacific Highway: Sydney - Newcastle Freeway

The objective of this project was to record some of the personal stories behind the development of the Pacific Highway and the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, told by some of the people who were actually involved in the process and directly affected.

The major output of the study was 36 hours of taped interviews with people involved in all aspects of the development of the routes - planning, route location, survey, concept and detailed design, construction and maintenance activities. There are also interviews with three people who earned their living on the routes - a long-distance truck driver, a bus operator and a Highway Patrol officer.

There are interesting stories of the travelling conditions on the Pacific Highway before it was fully sealed and the growing need for improvements; day-to-day life in the work camps; the development of sophisticated surveying and route location tools; property acquisitions; increasing mechanisation of road construction; environmental challenges; bridges, ferries & floods; and road safety matters.

A compilation CD and booklet summarising the key themes uncovered during the course of the project have been prepared, and may be ordered from the Transport Library at a cost of A$11 plus postage and handling. Orders may also be placed by fax to the Transport Library on 61 2 8849 2488.

The opinions expressed in the oral history interview tapes are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent in whole or in part the position of RMS.

Researchers and historians wishing to access the source interview tapes and associated logs should contact the Transport Library by phone on 61 2 8849 2913.

Pacific Highway Newcastle Freeway - Sound files

 

MP3

Part 1: Introduction/Recollections of the Pacific Highway and travel conditions

Real Media

Part 1: Introduction/Recollections of the Pacific Highway and travel conditions

MP3

Part 2: Observations of a new field assistant/work conditions/planning for a major deviation

Real Media

Part 2: Observations of a new field assistant/work conditions/planning for a major deviation

MP3

Part 3: Road location & surveying skills/road design procedures and equipment/aerial photography & photogrammetry/computerisation of road design/Geographic information systems

Real Media

Part 3: Road location & surveying skills/road design procedures and equipment/aerial photography & photogrammetry/computerisation of road design/Geographic information systems

MP3

Part 4: Need for improvements - climbing lanes & town bypasses/Life in the work camps

Real Media

Part 4: Need for improvements - climbing lanes & town bypasses/Life in the work camps

MP3

Part 5: Manual work/Construction equipment/Earthworks/Mechanisation of construction/materials - gravels, bitumen and concrete

Real Media

Part 5: Manual work/Construction equipment/Earthworks/Mechanisation of construction/materials - gravels, bitumen and concrete

MP3

Part 6: Increasing congestion north of Sydney/planning for Sydney-Newcastle Freeway/earthworks & construction challenges

Real Media

Part 6: Increasing congestion north of Sydney/planning for Sydney-Newcastle Freeway/earthworks & construction challenges

MP3

Part 7: Route of Sydney-Newcastle Freeway/the official opening/environmental constraints

Real Media

Part 7: Route of Sydney-Newcastle Freeway/the official opening/environmental constraints

MP3

Part 8: Floods/ferries/major bridges/explosives

Real Media

Part 8: Floods/ferries/major bridges/explosives

MP3

Part 9: Road vs rail freight/growth in heavy vehicle usage/bus operation

Real Media

Part 9: Road vs rail freight/growth in heavy vehicle usage/bus operation

MP3

Part 10: Road safety/Road alignment standards/Enforcement/Bus accidents/Speed limits

Real Media

Part 10: Road safety/Road alignment standards/Enforcement/Bus accidents/Speed limits

MP3

Part 11: Guard rails/Road markings & signage/Environmental & heritage factors

Real Media

Part 11: Guard rails/Road markings & signage/Environmental & heritage factors

MP3

Part 12: Community relations & property acquisition/Blackspots/Benefits of the Highway/Remaining problems and unresolved issues

Real Media

Part 12: Community relations & property acquisition/Blackspots/Benefits of the Highway/Remaining problems and unresolved issues

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