F81 (North)
  Tullamarine Freeway
 
   
 
 
 
Exit signs at Calder Freeway / Tullamarine Freeway interchange, 1976.
Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
 
 
 
     
 
Designated Names
Name List - Column 1
Successive Route Number
Column 3
Tullamarine Freeway
Mount Alexander Road, Flemington - Departure Drive, Melbourne Airport Metropolitan Route 43
Distance
in Kilometres
17.9
Northern Terminus Departure Drive, Melbourne Airport
Southern Terminus Flemington Road, Flemington
Lifespan 1970 - 10 March 1987

Duplexes
shared routes - column 1
Location of Duplex
column 2
Length of Duplex
in kilometres - column 3
Metropolitan Route 40
Bell Street , Pascoe Vale - Departure Drive, Melbourne Airport 12.5
National Route 79 Calder Freeway, Niddrie - Flemington Road, Flemington 5.4
     
     
 
     
     
  Freeway Route F81 was first introduced onto the Tullamarine Freeway and Lancefield Road in 1970 when the Essendon Airport to Flemington section of the freeway opened. It is believed that the Lancefield Road section between the Calder Freeway and Melrose Drive was allocated F81, even though it was not of freeway standard at the time - it was upgraded in 1979 which involved construction of a grade separated diamond interchange at English Street. Though unusual for a Freeway Route, it made sense to sign F81 via Lancefield Road rather than to have two seperately numbered sections.

More unusual was that the Tullamarine Freeway and Mulgrave (now Monash) Freeway both shared the same number - even though they were disconnected 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 a 'missing section' that ran close to today's Citylink Western Link and Dandenong Road (Princes Highway). Perhaps it was a way that the road engineers could subtly lobby for a Dandenong to Airport freeway? Whatever the reason, the freeways were not linked up until the opening of CityLink in 2000.

Between Flemington Road and the Calder Freeway, F81 was duplexed with National Route 79 from 1972 onwards; after a decision was made to move National Route 79 from Keilor Road and Mount Alexander Road, following the opening of the first major stage of the Calder Freeway. Keilor Road and Mount Alexander Road as a consequence became Alternative National Route 79. Another duplex was also formed - this time with Metropolitan Route 40 between Bell Street and the end of the freeway at Melbourne Airport. With the opening of the Bell Street connection to the Tullamarine Freeway in 1970, Metropolitan Route 40 was realigned onto the freeway from Woodland Street and Bulla Road. This then formed a triplex between Bell Street and the Calder Freeway: F81, National Route 79 and Metropolitan Route 40. The northern portion of Metropolitan Route 40 was moved onto the freeway from the parallel Lancefield Road (now Melrose Drive) in 1968 (occurring prior to the introduction of F81).

On the March 10 1987, F81 was decommissioned and replaced by Metropolitan Route 43 between the Calder Freeway and Sunbury Road. The section east and south of the Calder Freeway remained as National Route 79. Metropolitan Route 40 remained along the freeway between Bell Street and the Calder Freeway, however instead of travelling north from the Tullamarine/Calder Freeway interchange, it now travelled west along the Calder Freeway towards Keilor.
 
     
     
  Map  
     
   
     
     
  Route Numbering Timeline  
 
1970   F81 introduced onto Tullamarine Freeway.
1970   Metropolitan Route 40 moved onto the Tullamarine Freeway between Bell Street and Bulla Road (extending the duplex).
1972   Introduction of the duplex with National Route 79 between Calder Freeway and Flemington Road.
1987 Mar 10 F81 decommissioned; to be replaced by Metropolitan Route 43.
 
     
     
  Photos  
     
 
Intersection direction sign on Tullamarine Freeway southbound at Brunswick Road, 1970. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Intersection direction sign on Tullamarine Freeway southbound at Bell Street, 1970. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Intersection direction sign on Tullamarine Freeway at Bulla Road, 1970. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Advance direction sign on Calder Freeway eastbound before Tullamarine Freeway, 1975. Under the '1 km' overlay is '1/2 mile'. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Advance direction sign on Calder Freeway eastbound before Tullamarine Freeway, 1975. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Exit signs at Calder Freeway / Tullamarine Freeway interchange, 1976. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Exit signs at Calder Freeway / Tullamarine Freeway interchange, 1976. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Aerial of the English Street overpass in 1979. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
English Street overpass in 1980. Photo courtesy VicRoads Library.
Remnant (now removed) intersection direction signs at the intersection of Dromana Avenue and Matthews Avenue. September 2004.
Remnant advance direction sign on Mickleham Road before Tullamarine Freeway. September 2009.
Lane allocation sign on Mickleham Road at Tullamarine Freeway interchange. March 2006.
Intersection direction sign on Mickleham Road at Tullamarine Freeway interchange. September 2009.
 
     
     
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©  Main Roads Victoria. Last Updated: 2/02/15