Motorways and urban revitalisation

Major road systems are more than just infrastructure, they enable the efficient movement of people, goods and services. As well as meeting traffic needs, these road systems have a major influence on the structure, revitalisation and functioning of the urban environment.

Roads and Maritime Services recognises that major roads strongly impact on essential community needs such as access and connection, convenience, choice of movement and an attractive environment.

Roads and Maritime Services seeks to produce positive urban design outcomes while minimising the impacts from road infrastructure on natural, built and cultural environments.

For more information about Roads and Maritime Services design principles see the Centre for Urban Design.

Case study - Eastern Distributor

The Eastern Distributor provides a link between the Cahill Expressway at Woolloomooloo and Southern Cross Drive from the airport. As well as extensive tunnelling under the city, the motorway is grade separated through the Moore Park precinct at Surry Hills and has been carefully designed to leave the existing urban environment intact.

Lowering the motorway in an open cut reduces noise and visual impacts, ensures continuity of the street and pedestrian networks and improves the design and outlook of the surrounding park and housing. The architecture and landscape was designed to complement the area and build upon the character and quality of the public domain. For more information see Eastern Distributor.

Case study - M7 Motorway

This 40 kilometre motorway completed part of the Sydney Orbital Network and forms part of the national road network through Sydney. Its alignment and design helps make the natural and industrial landscape of western Sydney recognisable and creates a visually stimulating experience for travellers.

Sixteen interchanges provide critical connections with the Sydney Orbital Network and other major arterial roads. The interchange with the M4 Motorway is distinguished by its large scale, flowing ramps, feature lighting and groups of red poles (signifying platoons) with a 55 metre tall red light mast for the Australian Light Horse Brigade. The interchange with the Hume Highway and the M5 Motorway forms a gateway from the south marked by a pyramidal landform using earth from the excavations

A 40 kilometre shared cycle and pedestrian path traverses the length of the corridor. It connects with local areas and incorporates rest stops that provide an interpretation of culturally and historically important sites.

Improving the landscape was an integral part of the motorway design. This resulted in a well vegetated corridor that is used to join the regional parks, local open space areas and remnant Cumberland Plain woodland vegetation. For more information see M7.

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