Northern Expressway


NEXY interactive map

Access the interactive map



The Northern Expressway is now open to traffic

On Monday September 13 at 4.15pm the Northern Expressway was open to traffic.

The interactive map and animation drive though have been updated

Click on the regularly updated interactive map above to view road works, road closures, photos and interchange designs.

Click on the updated animation on the right to take a virtual drive though of the Northern Expressway.


The Northern Expressway features on the new Economic Stimulus Plan website

Nation Building logo 1 keeps Australians informed about the Australian economy and the Australian Government's early and decisive action to cushion the nation from the worst of the global financial recession. The website provides information and updates on the progress of the $42 billion Nation Building-Economic Stimulus Plan.
Current works and Road Closures

Fulton Hogan York Joint Venture commenced construction work for the Northern Expressway on September 1 2008 and the road opened to traffic on September 13 2010.

Althought the road is now open to traffic there are still some traffic restrictions in place. The construction team aims to minimise the impact on the local road network, however there is the need to have some lane and road closures, speed restrictions and traffic management in place. While the traffic management is in place we ask for motorist patience and understanding as any restrictions are in place for your safety and that of the workers. For information on road closures and road works please view the interactive map or the news page.

What is the Northern Expressway?

The Northern Expressway Project consists of two components: the new Northern Expressway and the Port Wakefield Road Upgrade. The Northern Expressway is a new 23 kilometre road with a pedestrian and cycle pathway linking the Gawler Bypass with Port Wakefield Road at a point about three kilometres north of the Waterloo Corner Road intersection.

To meet the demand of increased traffic volumes generated by the new expressway, Port Wakefield Road has been upgraded at key intersections between Waterloo Corner Road and Salisbury Highway.

The Northern Expressway project is a joint initiative by the Australian and South Australian governments under the Australian Government's Land Transport Investment Program. It is the largest road construction project in the state since the 1960s.

Why do we need the expressway?

The aim of the Northern Expressway is to:

  • improve the northern regional economy
  • reduce the impact of freight transport on suburban areas.

The Northern Expressway reduces driving times and increase safety for travellers from the Mid-North, Riverland and regional communities. People who commute between Gawler and the Port of Adelaide, and the western and southern suburbs of Adelaide also benefit.

The route reduces truck movements along Main North Road and Salisbury Highway. The expressway improves access to Adelaide for freight transport travelling via the Sturt Highway. This includes freight coming from key areas such as the Barossa Valley and the Riverland. Once linked with the Port River Expressway, there will be predicted travel time savings of up to 20 minutes between the Sturt Highway at Gawler and the Port of Adelaide South Australia's main shipping port.

The Northern Expressway contributes to a key objective of assisting national economic and social development aimed at improving the efficiency, safety and reliability of the national transport network.

It also contributes towards the following targets in South Australia's Strategic Plan:

  • promoting economic growth
  • expanding export potential for the state
  • providing strategic infrastructure
  • providing infrastructure to support communities in regions.

What are the benefits?

The Northern Expressway will:

  • provide significant economic benefits to the state
  • improve traffic conditions for local residents in Angle Vale and the northern suburbs near Main North Road
  • make roads safer by reducing freight, in particular Angle Vale and Heaslip roads
  • provide a quicker and safer connection with suburban destinations such as Adelaide Airport, shopping centres, sports stadiums, beaches, residences and businesses
  • connect to the new Port River Expressway, allowing drivers to use on-off connections at South Road and Hanson Road as well as Port Adelaide
  • allow travellers, and particularly freight traffic, to avoid any traffic congestion along the existing Main North Road
  • help to reduce vehicle pollution emissions due to smoother traffic flow along the Northern Expressway and Main North Road.

Gawler artist impression

Where does the expressway go?

The refined route of the Northern Expressway was developed as a result of an environmental assessment and community engagement on the original proposed route. The proposed route was initially developed from a planning study which commenced in 2003. The study considered a variety of routes and looked at how to:

  • improve safety for all road users
  • improve freight efficiencies
  • reduce effects on local and regional traffic networks
  • consider the needs of landowners and local residents
  • reduce effects on land productivity
  • reduce effects on indigenous and non-indigenous heritage sites
  • avoid splitting up communities
  • reduce environmental effects such as changes to noise, air and water quality.

Contributors to the planning process included South Australian and Australian government departments, local councils, industry and local business organisation representatives.

The Minister for Transport, Patrick Conlon, approved the final route of the Expressway, following the tabling of a Supplement Report to the Environmental Report.

The community engagement process highlighted the need for additional ramps as part of the initial construction of the Northern Expressway. Following Australian Government approval additional ramps were provided at Curtis Road, Two Wells Road and Angle Vale Road and Penfield Road at the time of construction.

Click on map for larger version

What are the key features?

Gawler to Port Wakefield Road section:

  • four lane, two-way expressway with divided roadway
  • speed limit of 110km/h
  • full speed connection at Gawler, linking with the Gawler by-pass
  • a free flowing interchange linking with Port Wakefield Road
  • entry to the expressway via interchanges
  • overpasses across the expressway
  • changes to the road network
  • a recreational cycle and pedestrian pathway

Upgrade to Port Wakefield Road section (Taylor Road to Salisbury Highway):

  • additional traffic lanes on Port Wakefield Road in some sections
  • improvements to some junctions
  • install new and upgrade existing traffic lights to increase capacity
  • improvements to the Salisbury Highway/Port Wakefield Road bridge
  • improve safety by removing some right turn access points by, closing some median openings, providing left in/left out arrangements for connecting roads, and adjusting U-turn facilities.


AustGovt_Initiative_inline_2                    Nation Building Logo