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 including, 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, including 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 including 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 and floods, and, road safety matters.
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 Transport for NSW (TfNSW).
Pacific Highway Newcastle Freeway whole sound file (MP3)
Whole collection Part 1 and Part 2 (as one file - MP3) (MP3, 49.38 MB)
Full version of Part 1 (MP3, 25.58 MB)
Full version of Part 2 (MP3, 23.8 MB)
Pacific Highway Newcastle Freeway individual sound files (MP3)
Sound files parts 1 - 12
Part 1: Introduction/Recollections of the Pacific Highway and travel conditions (MP3, 3.33 MB)
Part 2: Observations of a new field assistant/work conditions/planning for a major deviation (MP3, 2.75 MB)
Part 3: Road location & surveying skills/road design procedures and equipment/aerial photography & photogrammetry/computerisation of road design/Geographic information systems (MP3, 3.7 MB)
Part 4: Need for improvements - climbing lanes & town bypasses/Life in the work camps (MP3, 3.29 MB)
Part 5: Manual work/Construction equipment/Earthworks/Mechanisation of construction/materials - gravels, bitumen and concrete (MP3, 3.7 MB)
Part 6: Increasing congestion north of Sydney/planning for Sydney-Newcastle Freeway/earthworks & construction challenges (MP3, 6.35 MB)
Part 7: Route of Sydney-Newcastle Freeway/the official opening/environmental constraints (MP3, 3.19 MB)
Part 8: Floods/ferries/major bridges/explosives (MP3, 7.22 MB)
Part 9: Road vs rail freight/growth in heavy vehicle usage/bus operation (MP3, 3.3 MB)
Part 10: Road safety/Road alignment standards/Enforcement/Bus accidents/Speed limits (MP3, 5.21 MB)
Part 11: Guard rails/Road markings & signage/Environmental & heritage factors (MP3, 3.33 MB)
Part 12: Community relations & property acquisition/Blackspots/Benefits of the Highway/Remaining problems and unresolved issues (MP3, 4.75 MB)
Development of the Pacific Highway and Sydney-Newcastle Freeway summary report (PDF, 8.18 MB)