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Northern Connector

Home > Adelaide > Escape the City | Outdoor
by Michael Genrich (subscribe)
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Published February 18th 2020
A brand new motorway for Adelaide
Adelaide, motorway, northern, connector, south road, bolivar, waterloo corner, st kilda
The southern interchange looking north

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.

Adelaide, motorway, northern, connector, south road, bolivar, waterloo corner, st kilda
Image courtesy

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.

Adelaide, motorway, northern, connector, south road, bolivar, waterloo corner, st kilda
Image courtesy

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!

Some fast facts:

2016 - commenced
2020 completed
110 kilometre per hour speed limit
15.5 kilometres
Three lanes each way
16 kilometre walk/cycle runs alongside
Four interchanges
10 bridges
10 minutes - saved travel time
6500 tonnes of steel from Whyalla Steelworks
175,000 cubic metres of concrete produced
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.

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Why? A brand new motorway for Adelaide
When: Anytime from March
Where: Northern Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Parts of the old sections of highway that this new section amalgamates needs resurfacing and has needed it for longer than the sections constructed in 2016
by r.eng (score: 2|537) 529 days ago
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
by jbind (score: 0|4) 521 days ago
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