Northern Connector Opening Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will the Northern Connector be open to traffic?
A: The Northern Connector was open to traffic on Saturday, 7 March, 2020.
Q: How can motorists access the Northern Connector?
A: Motorists can access the Northern Connector via the four interchanges:
- Northern Interchange – From Port Wakefield Road and Northern Expressway.
- Waterloo Corner Interchange – From Port Wakefield and Waterloo Corner Roads.
- Bolivar Interchange – From Port Wakefield, Hodgson and Bolivar Roads.
- Southern Interchange- From the South Road Superway and the Port River Expressway.
For more information on how to access the new motorway please refer to the Northern Connector website, Maps and Interchange animations www.dpti.sa.gov.au/northernconnector
Q: How can I access the Northern Expressway now that the Northern Connector is open?
A: Motorists travelling northbound can access the Northern Expressway via the Northern Connector from either the South Road Superway or the Port River Expressway.
Motorists travelling northbound on Port Wakefield Road can access the Northern Expressway via the Northern Connector from either the Bolivar or Waterloo Corner Interchanges, or from Heaslip Road.
Q: How much time will motorists save by using the Northern Connector?
A: Time savings will vary depending on the time of the day with an average of approximately 10 minutes, end to end expected.
Q: Has the right turn movement from the Port River Expressway to the South Road Superway been reinstated?
A: Yes. This movement is part of the Southern Interchange.
Q : When will the speed restrictions be lifted?
A: As of May 1, 2020, Northern Connector speeds are at the posted speed of 110 km/h.
Q: Will there be any additional works required on the Northern Connector and surrounding roads once open to traffic?
A:Finishing works are continuing in the vicinity of the Northern Connector Interchanges, including Port Wakefield Road, Salisbury Highway and the Port River Expressway, road users are requested to please observe traffic management, signage and speed restrictions on these roads. Advance notice will be provided.
Q: Is the entire length of the Northern Connector concrete?
A: Approximately 13 kilometres of the 15.5-kilometre Northern Connector alignment is concrete pavement. The four interchanges have been constructed using asphalt.
Q: Why are the interchanges constructed in asphalt?
A: Concrete pavements offer the best value for money in long, straight stretches of heavily-trafficked motorways, including lower ongoing maintenance costs. As the interchanges are constructed with roundabouts and short, curved ramps with varying pavement widths, asphalt provides a better solution for this style of construction. The result is a motorway which overall maximises local industry opportunities and delivers value for the State.
Q: What is the concrete road cost compared to a normal asphalt road?
A: Compared to a full depth asphalt pavement the concrete pavement had a slightly higher initial capital cost however it is expected to almost halve the ongoing maintenance costs.
Q: Are concrete roads less durable than asphalt roads?
A: High quality concrete pavements are more durable, require less maintenance and employ more local people through the supply chain during construction.
Q: What about increased glare on concrete roads?
A: For night visibility, an asphalt solution tends to reflect limited light back to the driver from vehicle headlights, whereas a concrete solution reflects light in all directions which improves night visibility. Whilst day visibility for a new concrete surface has slightly higher glare potential, the application of a low noise diamond grooving mitigates this issue which has been applied to the Northern Connector. It should also be noted that on-going tyre wear to the concrete surface also reduces glare potential.
Q: Do concrete roads create more noise than asphalt roads?
A: Concrete roads with a diamond grooved surface are comparable to an asphalt road. The Northern Connector is a diamond grooved concrete road.
Q: Are there any issues with ride quality associated with a concrete pavement?
A: No. There are no issues with ride quality with concrete pavement.
Q. Will the Northern Connector be gazetted for heavy when the motorway opens or will they be treated as off route?
Q: Is the motorway monitored by smart camera technology for vehicle breakdowns?
A: Yes. The Northern Connector has an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) that will assist the Traffic Management Centre in managing traffic flows and delivering improved driver safety. These systems span the full length of the new motorway and connect directly to the control centre in order to assist with road operations. The ITS will be operational following the completion of testing and is expected to be commissioned late March to early April.
Q: How does the Northern Connector’s Shared Use Path connect to the existing cycle network and pedestrian pathways?
A: The Shared Use Path will create a new shared use pedestrian and bike path (SUP) adjacent the full length of the Northern Connector. This includes:
- 16km adjacent the full length of the Northern Connector connecting into the Barker Inlet Wetlands.
- A 4km extension constructed adjacent the Port River Expressway connecting into the existing Port Adelaide bikeways.
- Creating a 43km continuous SUP between Gawler (via the Stuart O'Grady bikeway) and the Port Adelaide bikeways.
Q: When will the Shared Use Path be completed?
A: The first 7.3km section of the TAPA MARTINTHI YALA Shared Use Path between the Northern and Bolivar Interchanges opened on 18 April. More information can be found here.
The remaining section of the TAPA MARTINTHI YALA path from the Bolivar Interchange to the Southern Interchange and the new Port River Bikeway, are in their final stages of completion and expected to be open for use in May.
Q: How long did the Northern Connector take to complete?
A: The Northern Connector took approximately three and half years to complete. Early construction works on the project began in late 2016 with major works completed in March 2020.
Q: Who built the new motorway?
A: Lendlease was appointed in June 2016 as head contractor to construct the Northern Connector together with their local Industry Partners.
Q: Are there any further stages proposed as part of the Northern Connector?
Q: How much did the Northern Connector cost to construct?
A: Of the $867 million total, the Australian Government committed $694 million to the project, with $173 million from the South Australian Government.
Q: Who can I talk to for more information about using the Northern Connector?
A: For more information about accessing the Northern Connector or any other questions, please contact the Project Team as below: Phone: 1300 916 221