The $7 million project was undertaken by Shaw Contracting, and involved the construction of a large roundabout to improve flow for traffic travelling from the East Tamar Highway to Mowbray and Invermay.
State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson said the connector also benefited from having northbound traffic travel past the roundabout uninterrupted.
“One of the real innovations with this particular roundabout is that it’s nice and large and has sweeping opportunities for traffic to keep moving without having to unnecessarily stop and waste time,” he said.
“It’s about keeping people moving and it’s a major safety improvement as well.”
Initial designs for the connector proposed traffic lights be installed at the site, this was later revised after public consultation.
In other news:
Mr Ferguson said the roundabout proved to be a better option and worked well with any developments further down the road.
“We’ve come up with a much better option,” he said.
“It is possible that this may be a future connector to the Tamar bridge … we’re working through the feasibility of that right now.”
Safety was a “vital” factor in developing the connector according to Mr Ferguson, with a number of serious vehicle incidents occurring at the former intersection.
Shaw chief executive Joe Luttrell said about 22,000 vehicles used the stretch of road every day.
“By the numbers that’s a major risk for traffic that are opposing each other and coming into conflict, particularly traffic heading north and going into Mowbray,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The risk of collision with southbound traffic was real and we’ve seen significant crash history and deaths here.
The risk of collision with southbound traffic was real and we’ve seen significant crash history and deaths here.
“The connector should alleviate that but we’re still relying on motorists to do the right thing because there’s no risk-free intersection.”
A project further down the road toward Lindsay Street is also aiming to improve flow in the Invermay area.
As well as an extra lane for turning from Goderich into Forster streets being added, a new set of traffic lights will be installed at Gleadow Street.
Mr Ferguson said this third set of lights between Lindsay and Forster streets will allow for a new avenue of traffic to access the retail sites including Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks.
“We’re going to see traffic coming out of Gleadow Street with a controlled intersection,” he said.
“It’s going to provide an alternative way out from the big box retailers … so that traffic can come out of Gleadow Street and take a lot of pressure of Lindsay Street and the Charles Street Bridge.
“It’s about keeping the traffic moving and taking pressure off … I think that by working with the council we’ve come up with some really good innovation there.”
Mr Ferguson anticipated upgrades on Goderich Street to be completed by the end of the year.
He said more road upgrades are already in the making for the East Tamar.
“We do have to address some of these congestion issues and part of that will be through the smart technology as well,” Mr Ferguson said.