Stand by Adelaide, the Mid-North, Gawler and the Barossa Valley are about to get a lot closer to the city (in travel time at least)!
The Northern Connector is a 15.5 kilometre, six-lane motorway connecting the Northern Expressway to the South Road Superway to form a speedy bypass around Port Wakefield Road. It's part of Adelaide's planned upgrade of the North/South corridor which will one day allow free flow of traffic, all the way from the north of the city right through to the south.
Heading south, the road passes by verdant farmland and greenhouses before crossing the salt pans and mangroves close to Globe Derby Park until it reaches the Salisbury Highway and the South Road Superway.
For most Adelaideans, this may be the first time they've actually seen this side of town, short of the odd drive to the playground at St Kilda. The drive is full of country vistas across the plains and mangroves. It's dotted with groves of trees and ruins of a time when agriculture in the area was more intensive than it is now. If you haven't been up that way for a while then you'll note that access to St Kilda has changed and is now via an overpass at Waterloo Corner Road.
Another major change is that to access the Nothern Expressway to Gawler if you're heading north, you'll need to join the Northern Connector at Bolivar or Waterloo Corner Road instead of where the current junction is.
The road is unique in Australia as being the widest concrete road in the country and it's a first for South Australia. If you were able to stop to look closely at the road surface you'd be able to see the interesting groove patterns ground into the road. This technique makes it less noisy and improves grip and drainage. It's probably not a good idea to stop and look once the road is open though - the traffic management system will spot you and might send a tow truck out if you linger too long!
1.3 million cubic metres of fill to complete the salt pan section
900 precast concrete piles used for mangrove bridges
636 precast bridge beams in total
The Northern Connector recently held a community open day which offered the public the opportunity to tour and drive on the motorway for the first time. It's expected to open to traffic in early March 2020.
Nice article....interesting to see how it effects traffic volume on Port Wakefield Rd. Looking forward to checking out the accompanying 17km of shared use paths (walking/cycling). These will also connect with the Little Para River (into Salisbury and on to Main North rd) and Dry Creek Trails (to Mawson Lakes, Pooraka and beyond). Want to explore them with a social riding group ?...then Cycle Salisbury is for you.www.salisbury.sa.gov.au/cyclesalisbury