The Northern Connector has been the city’s biggest road project to date. It seriously improves road safety and efficiency, reduces travel times and helps drive tourism and jobs in northern regions.
WSP has played a key role in this project working as part of the Lendlease engagement team with the many stakeholders, identifying key issues and opportunities to consider when developing the preferred route.
“Our Stakeholder Engagement team engaged with landowners, local and state government agencies, representative industry bodies, environmental groups and community members,” explains Stephanie Luyks, WSP’s National Executive Stakeholder Engagement.
“We focused on helping to proactively resolve property issues like fencing, noise attenuation treatments, the reconstruction of driveways, reducing construction noise, and access changes including temporary and permanent access changes for local businesses.
“We also worked with the community to negotiate and communicate local road access changes and traffic switches.”
This six-lane motorway is one Adelaide’s most important transport corridors. It features four new interchanges and nine bridges over intersections and waterways. On weekdays, it could carry more than 52,000 vehicles, slashing six sets of traffic lights and shaving seven minutes off previous drive times, while drivers now avoid the notoriously accident-prone Port Wakefield Road.
The motorway creates more efficient travel for freight and primary producers accessing the Port of Adelaide and the northern industrial and commercial areas and lowers heavy-vehicle travel times and the transport industry’s operating costs.
It also reduces journey times to the Barossa Valley, one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations.
Economic Benefits to SA
“South Australian industry and the people of Adelaide’s northern suburbs were the biggest beneficiaries of this major construction project,” adds Stephanie.
“Arrium in Whyalla supplied about 70 per cent of the steel used. And, the project created 480 jobs a year with 90 per cent of all labour hours going to South Australians.”
Employment targets also focused on displaced automotive workers, women, apprentices and trainees, Aboriginal workers, and people facing employment barriers. Collectively these groups made up least 20 per cent of the hours worked. The NorthHub employment initiative developed and delivered initiatives and Indigenous contractors reconstructed wetlands and the Tapa Martinthi Yala shared-use path.
“As the project neared completion, the Stakeholder Engagement team helped organise a Community Open Day at the NorthHub compound where 5,000 community members polished off 6,000 free sausages, 1,400 people took free bus tours along the motorway to the Southern Interchange and back, and others walked along a short section of South Australia’s first concrete motorway,” adds Stephanie.
“Some became the first to drive the new road before its official opening, and many enjoyed the virtual reality tours, the construction equipment displays, and the Kaurna workshop.”
The Bigger Picture
This newly opened motorway is just one part of the huge 10-year North-South Corridor project – a major 78km non-stop route underway to vastly improve travel between Gawler in the north and Old Noarlunga in the south.
Once completed, the new North-South Corridor will be a game-changer for Adelaide motorists. Everybody will enjoy unimpeded, longer-distance north-south journeys without at-grade traffic signals, intersections, junctions, or property access points that make vehicles slow down or stop.
Even better, South Australia has resisted pressure to toll the North-South Corridor. The state will instead test a new ‘network fee’ that charges trucks based on road use and impact, rather than high registration fees.
For more information, contact Stephanie Luyks.
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