Roads and Freeways

A look at the history of roads, streets, highways, freeways, bridges and tunnels of Melbourne and beyond.

How long does it take to build a pedestrian crossing?

One might think building a pedestrian crossing would be pretty easy, but for set of traffic lights in Sunshine, it was anything but. The background The story starts at Sunshine station, upgraded in 2014. But for pedestrians crossing Hampshire Road they still needed to dodge four lanes of traffic at a roundabout. Google Street View […]

A history of ‘Mount Mistake’ in Footscray

Next to the Western Oval in Footscray is ‘Mount Mistake’ – a massive tangle of road overpasses that carries Geelong Road over the railway lines at West Footscray station. This is the tale of how the bridge came to be, and how it gained the nickname. Taking a quick tour Mount Mistake is a tangle […]

Off to work at the Sunshine Harvester Factory

For decades the Sunshine Harvester factory dominated Melbourne’s west. Established in 1904 as the Braybrook Implement Works, in 1906 industrialist H.V. McKay moved his Sunshine Harvester Works to the new township, expanding it to become the largest manufacturing plant in Australia. SLV photo H2016.33/103 Around the factory In the early years employees had to trudge […]

Another Tullamarine Freeway then and now

The Tullamarine Freeway is the main road link between Melbourne Airport and the rest of the city, with the first 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mile) stage opened to traffic in 1968 as the ‘Tullamarine Freeway By-pass Road’. Country Roads Board annual report 1968-69 Early years A bridge taking inbound traffic from the airport over outbound traffic […]

Another Sunshine street name saga

After my adventure into the history of ‘Graham Street South’ in Sunshine, I ended up following another rabbit hole – the streets cut in half by the railway. Charles Daniel Photograph, SLV H2016.33/102 Early years The first white settlement near Sunshine was the village of Braybrook, established on the banks of the Maribyrnong River in […]