This photograph shows Strathfield Council Mayor Rod Rimes, Council Engineer’s Alan Wilson and Warwick Grey, Strathfield Council Keith Manwaring at the opening of Centenary Drive in December 1984.
By Cathy Jones
As former Mayor of Strathfield Rod Rimes recalled:
The very first official occasion as Mayor that I recall was the opening of Centenary Drive between Arthur Street and Liverpool Road. That had an absolutely astounding effect on the Municipality as all traffic had previously proceeded up Pemberton Street. Looking at traffic that goes along Centenary Drive now you can get some idea of its effect.
A lot of the traffic peeled off Pemberton Street into Barker and Newton Road right through the Municipality. I don’t take any credit for it, it was a decision made long before my time, and I was quite amazed to find myself there at the official opening thinking what a tremendous turning point in traffic control in Strathfield that construction was.
The need for a new road bypass was set out the in 1951 County of Cumberland Planning Scheme and county land reserved for this purpose. The first stage of Centenary Drive was first opened in December 1984. Centenary Drive replaced Mitchell Road and Pemberton Street as the main access roads linking Strathfield from the north (Arthur St) to the south (Liverpool Road). Centenary Drive ran adjacent to the freight railway which had opened in 1916.
With the opening of Centenary Drive, a number of roads were renamed. The NSW Government Gazette of 14 December 1984 published that Council had renamed part of Pemberton Road ‘Centenary Drive’ and the section of Barker Road cut off by Centenary Drive was renamed Weeroona Road.
In August 1985 work commenced on Homebush Bay Drive, which joins Centenary Drive and links Parramatta Road at Homebush West to Concord Road at Rhodes. In December 1990 Homebush Bay Drive was opened to traffic between Rhodes and the M4 Motorway, with its southern end joining Parramatta Road directly across from Marlborough Road. Centenary Drive was widened to six lanes in December 1996 and the four-lane overpass connecting Centenary Dr and Roberts Road opened in August 1998.
Author not specified, Metroad 3 : History and Development, viewed at https://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/RouteNumbering/Metroads/3/history.htm on 21 August 2018
Gibbons, Y, 1993, Rodney Rimes Mayor’s Oral History, Strathfield Council
MUNICIPALITY OF STRATHFIELD.—NAMING AND RENAMING OF ROADS.—Notice is hereby given that Strathfield (1984, December 14). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 2001), p. 6239. Retrieved August 21, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231375328
I believe Men Of the Trees NSW had a role in planting along Centenary Drive especially in the vicinity of Hudson Park Golf Course. A former Supervisor at Council may have facilitated this as he was a member of the group around that time.
Yes, the recall the Men of Trees sign about their planting along the roadside