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SA Government holds industry briefing for $160m O-Bahn City Access project

WITH planning and preliminary design works already under way for Adelaide's $160 million O-Bahn City Access Project, the South Australian Government has held industry briefing to provide local firms and interested parties with information about the O-Bahn extension.

The O-Bahn, which is the most highly patronised public transport corridor in the metropolitan area with 8 million passenger trips per year, will be extended via a tunnel beneath Hackney Road, near Plane Tree Drive and under the busy North Terrace and Rundle Road intersections, providing better access to the cross-city priority bus lanes on Grenfell Street.

In a statement last week, Acting Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tony Piccolo said the extension will create around 450 jobs during the three-year construction period, with stringent tender requirements to make sure as much of the work as possible goes to local contractors and workers.

"As with all major infrastructure projects, the State Government will require 20 per cent of total labour hours be carried out by apprentices and trainees, Aboriginal workers and people facing barriers to employment," Mr Piccolo said.

"The project will also be delivered in line with our Industry Participation Policy that ensures competitive small and medium enterprises are given every opportunity to be considered for these major works."

Around 60 people attended the briefing to discuss the project, which, when completed, will reduce congestion for city traffic and reduce journey times for bus passengers by diverting bus services to a new corridor.

"Buses will no longer travel across the two very busy intersections at Hackney/Botanic Road and Dequetteville Terrace/Rundle Road where over 71,000 and 44,000 vehicles travel daily," Mr Piccolo said.

The project is undergoing planning to investigate a number of concept options. The first round of geotechnical and ground water investigations were completed in mid-August and the findings are now being assessed.

Major works are expected to begin in mid-2015 and be completed in mid-2017.

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