Monday, 15 May 2017

1997: M2 Motorway opens to the Public

In 1997, those in the booming North West suburbs now had a motorway that would make travel much easier, but yet they were reluctant to use it despite the reductions in travel time that it promised.

M2 Opens May 26 1997 daily telegraph 1
M2 Opens May 26 1997 daily telegraph 2

Source: Hilferty, T & Walsh, P. 1997. "M2 Chaos: Traffic anger as tollway opens". The Daily Telegraph, May 26, 1 & 2. 

 And then there were those who opposed it because it involved the loss of trees and vegetation. They were vocal from the planning stages and even on opening day wanted to spoil the celebrations. While for others, it was the fact one had to pay for the toll ($2.50).

Three months later, people still stayed away.

  M2 Motorway August 9 1997 daily telegraph 15

Source: Gibson, B. 1997. "Going nowhere fast". The Daily Telegraph, August 9, 15. 

But eventually the motorway did fill up with traffic and would form a piece of the Sydney Orbital network. Early in 2006, the M7 allowed drivers on the M2 a direct link through western Sydney down to the M5 Motorway and Hume Highway. In 2007, the Lane Cove Tunnel connected the M2 to the Gore Hill and Warringah Freeways.

During 2011 and 2013, an additional lane was added in each direction with improvements to on and off ramps.

Currently, the NorthConnex Project will connect the M2 Motorway to the M1 Motorway. This will be completed in 2019. Drivers will no longer need to use Pennant Hills Road or the Pacific Highway if driving in or out of Sydney.