Southern Expressway 

The Southern Expressway, built in two stages between 1997 and 2001 is the world's first fully reversible one-way freeway/expressway. It was built parallel to Main South Road to provide a third major arterial road to the southern regions of Adelaide. While that sounds innovating, it was initially built that way to obviously cut costs as building freeways is something of a novelty to the South Australian government. Nevertheless, upon opening day in late 1997 it was touted to be a failure but has in hindsight been a complete success as it has spread and diverted the once heavily congested Main South Road's traffic (for now, anyway). While Stage 1 was a breath of fresh air for driving into the southern suburbs, it was Stage 2 that has proven the greatest asset by bypassing Morphett Vale and Reynella which was (and still is) an annoying and painstaking slow journey to negotiate. The only sour point is that there is no significant future provisions for either road widening or if one day the road really *does* need to be flowing in both directions.

State: South Australia
Start: Bedford Park - Main South Road 
Interchanges: Marion Road (Sturt), Main South Road/Panalatinga Road (Reynella), Sherriffs Road (Lonsdale), Beach Road (Noarlunga Centre)
Finish: Old Noarlunga - Main South Road 
Length: 21km
Direction Times: Northbound (Mon-Fri: 2:30am-1:30pm, Sat-Sun-Public Holidays: 2:30pm-1:30am), Southbound (Mon-Fri: 2:30pm-1:30am, Sat-Sun-Public Holidays: 2:30am-1:30pm). No traffic enters 1:30pm-2:30pm and 1:30am-2:30am each day.
Road Standard: All bitumen.
Road Quality: Excellent. Triple laned carriageway from Bedford Park to Reynella. Dual carriageway from Reynella to Old Noarlunga. Freeway quality for the entire length with emergency stopping lanes. Depending on the direction, watch for the unusual right lane on and off-ramps as it can cause some surprise when the fast lane suddenly has to merge with entering traffic.
Speed Limit (outside start and end points): 100km/hr - 80km/hr on the Tapleys Hill descent.

Photos from the Southern Expressway (Click on thumbnail for full sized image):

Main South Road, heading south at the Southern Expressway turnoff, Bedford Park (2004).

Marion Road, heading south, again at the Southern Expressway turnoff, Sturt (2004).

Heading north on the Southern Expressway approaching the Seacombe Road overpass and Marion Road exit, Darlington (2004).

View south over the Southern Expressway from the Majors Road overpass, O'Halloran Hill (2000).
Sherrifs Road, looking east approaching the Southern Expressway overpass. Note at this stage the expressway is heading south only, Reynella (2004).
Stage 2 of the Southern Expressway under construction, nearing the O'Sullivans Beach road overpass, Morphett Vale (2001).
View south over the Southern Expressway from Beach Road. Ahead is the southbound right-lane on-ramp which doubles as a northbound left-lane off-ramp (say that fast), Noarlunga Centre (2004).
Heading south on the Southern Expressway approaching the southern terminus at Main South Road, Old Noarlunga (2004).
Main South Road, heading north-east approaching the Southern Expressway junction with the expressway only open for southbound traffic, Old Noarlunga (2003).
A good comparison as this time the expressway is open for northbound traffic, Old Noarlunga (2004).

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Copyright © MG 2004