Princes Freeway East (Orbost)
  Orbost Bypass
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Westbound from the Snowy River floodplain.
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
 
     
     
 

Designated Names

Name List - Column 1 & 2
Road Classification

Column 3

Princes Freeway East Corringle Road, Newmerella - Irvines Road, Orbost Freeway #1510

Distance

in Kilometres

7.0

Western Terminus

Corringle Road, Newmerella

Eastern Terminus

Irvines Road, Orbost

Route Numbering

A1 (1997 - )
National Route 1 (1977 - 1997)
 
     
     
  This section of the Princes Freeway East, dubbed the Orbost Bypass, was an important development along the Princes Highway corridor through East Gippsland.

The original highway approached the Snowy River at a very poor alignment, and several serious accidents had occurred at the Orbost end. In times of heavy flood, the highway on both sides of the river had been cut by floodwaters and during the 1971 floods, the highest ever recorded, the river was a mile wide at the crossing. The current freeway alignment provides a flood plain crossing of 6,640 feet, sited just downstream of the existing river bridge and railway, at the narrowest section of the floodplain. Commencing on the high ground of the Newmeralla bank, the first bridge – across Ashbys Gulch – is 1960 feet long, the second – across Watts Gulch – is 700 feet long and the third – across the Snowy River itself and a nearby lagoon to high ground at the Orbost end – is 1240 feet long
[1].

Construction of the bridges commenced in January 1975, with an expectation to open the bridge across the Snowy River as soon as possible. Less than two years later, on 25 November 1976, the bridge across the Snowy River was opened to traffic, allowing the old bridge to be demolished. The remainder of the Orbost Bypass, both the floodplain crossings and the eastern section around the township itself, was declared ‘Princes Freeway’ and opened to traffic in December 1977
[1].
 
     
  Events  
 
1975
Jan
Construction of bridges along the freeway commences.
1976
Nov 25
New bridge over Snowy River opens.
1977
Dec
Remaining river approaches and eastern section of the freeway opens.
1997
A1 replaces National Route 1.
 
     
     
  Photos  
 
The Orbost Bypass (Princes Freeway) plan by the CRB.
Construction of the Princes Freeway along side the now disused Orbost Rail Line (closed 1987), 1970's.
The old Snowy River Bridge with the new one above, 1977.
The newly opened Princes Freeway in 1977.
Sign showing Orbost approaches, westbound along Princes Freeway.
Sam Laybutt, July 2005 
Advance Direction Sign westbound before C612/C107 turnoff.
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
RD westbound along Princes Freeway.
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
Westbound towards the bridge over the Snowy River. 
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
Princes Freeway looking over the Snowy River floodplain. 
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
Westbound from the floodplain.
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
Westbound towards the end of the freeway in Newmerella. 
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
Old signs, including a remnant National Route 1 trailblazer, on Corringle Road at the end of the freeway. 
Sam Laybutt, July 2005
 
     
  [1] Written by Sam Laybutt  
     
 
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