F81 (South)
  Mulgrave Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway
 
   
 
 
 
Overhead intersection direction signs at Mulgrave (now Monash) Freeway / Springvale Road interchange, 1974.
Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
 
 
 
     
 
Designated Names
Name List - Column 1
Road Classification
Column 3
Mulgrave Freeway
(now Monash Freeway)
Warrigal Road, Chadstone - South Gippsland Freeway, Doveton
South Gippsland Freeway Mulgrave Freeway (Monash Freeway), Doveton - South Gippsland Highway, Lyndhurst
Distance
in Kilometres
25.0
Northern Terminus Warrigal Highway (Warrigal Road), Chadstone
Southern Terminus South Gippsland Highway, Lyndhurst
Lifespan 21 November 1972 - 10 March 1987
 
     
     
  The southern portion of Freeway Route F81 was the longest F route at 25 km running between Warrigal Road, Chadstone to the South Gippsland Highway at Lyndhurst. F81 (South) comprised of the then Mulgrave (now Monash) Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway.

More unusual was that the Tullamarine Freeway shared the same number - even though it was disconnected to the Mulgrave Freeway at the time. One possible reason for this was that both the Mulgrave and Tullamarine Freeways were part of a huge proposed freeway, the F14, which incorporated both freeways and the 'missing section' that ran close to today's Citylink Western Link and Dandenong Road (Princes Highway). The freeways were not linked up until the opening of CityLink in 2000.

F81 (South) was first introduced onto the Mulgrave Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway between Stud Road and the South Gippsland Highway on 21 November 1972 and was gradually extended westwards as new sections of the Mulgrave Freeway opened. In 1981, F81 had reached its ultimate westerly terminus at Warrigal Road in Chadstone.

Had the F route numbering system remained at the time of the completion of the South Eastern to Mulgrave Arterial Road Link (SEMARL) (connecting the two isolated freeways together), it could be speculated that F81 would have been renumbered to F80 to remove confusion with the Tullamarine Freeway’s F81.

Nonetheless, F81 was formally decommissioned in 1987; however it was not until 1988 when the South Eastern to Mulgrave Arterial Road Link opened that National Route 1 shields began replacing F81 on the Mulgrave Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway north of the Princes Highway. The South Gippsland Freeway south of the Princes Highway became Metropolitan Route 65.
 
     
     
  Route Numbering Timeline  
 
1972 Nov 21 F81 introduced onto Mulgrave Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway between Stud Road and Princes Highway East.
1973 Dec F81 extended to Springvale Road from Stud Road.
1976 Dec 15 F81 extended to Blackburn Road from Springvale Road.
1977 April 5 F81 extended to Forster Road from Blackburn Road.
1979 Dec 12 F81 extended to Huntingdale Road from Blackburn Road.
1981 June 24 F81 extended to Warrigal Road from Huntingdale Road.
1987 Mar 10 F81 decommissioned; to be replaced by National Route 1 (National Route 1 was signed in 1988 when the South Eastern - Mulgrave Arterial Road Link opened) and Metropolitan Route 65.
 
     
     
 
   
Intersection direction sign at Springvale Road / Mulgrave (now Monash) Freeway intersection, 1974. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Exit direction signs at Ferntree Gully Road, 1976. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Exit direction signs at Blackburn Road, 1980. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Exit direction signs at Blackburn Road, 1977. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Reassurance direction sign eastbound at Forster Road, Mount Waverley, 1980. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.

Exit direction signs at Wellington Road, 1984. Note the installation of 'Chadstone' over 'City' and what appears to be 'Ashburton'. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.

Exit direction signs at Wellington Road, 1984. Note the installation of 'Chadstone' over 'City' and what appears to be 'Ashburton'. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Exit direction signs at Princes Highway, Doveton, 1980 Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Advance direction sign on South Gippsland Highway south approach before South Gippsland Freeway, 1978 Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
 
     
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©  Main Roads Victoria. Last Updated: 4/12/13