SOUTH Australian Premier Jay Weatherill last week announced the State Government's final approval of the $370 million duplication of the Southern Expressway, as well as an additional $37 million to meet further community requests that arose out of consultation.
The Baulderstone-Abigroup Joint Venture has been chosen as the preferred contractor following a comprehensive process and it is hoped that pre-construction work will start before the end of the year.
A Supplement to the Project Impact Report has been released by the government which details scope changes to the original project following community consultation and public submissions.
The changes include a fourth city-bound lane between Reynella and Bedford Park, road widening at Beach Road to improve traffic flow and intersection changes at Panalatinga Road, as well as improvements to the existing carriageway.
"With more than 34,000 vehicles using the Southern Expressway daily there is no doubt that duplicating this road will make travelling to, from and within Adelaide's south better and easier," Transport and Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon said.
"We are proud that we are delivering a project which allows for future community needs and provides scope for further upgrades in the future," Mr Conlon said.
"By mid-2014, people living, working and visiting Adelaide's south will be driving in either direction, around the clock, seven days a week."
Mr Conlon said the new roadway will be constructed to the west of the existing expressway with the road and pedestrian bridges extended across the duplication.
According to the government, the interchanges servicing traffic along the expressway will be upgraded:
- To cater for two-way traffic at Main South Road, Old Noarlunga;
- To enable north and south bound traffic to safely enter and leave the Expressway at Beach Road via a new ramp;
- To provide north and south bound traffic movements at Sherriffs Road with new ramps, plus a signalised intersection and realigned Brodie Road enabling direct connection from Sherriffs Road; and
- With a new north bound ramp to complement the existing at Panalatinga Road.
"A south-bound access ramp at Panalatinga Road will not be constructed at this time given the availability and capacity of existing roads in this area for local journeys but future expansion is included in the design plans," Mr Conlon said.
The 21-kilometre Southern Expressway was completed in 2001. It is a reversible one-way freeway, allowing commuters to travel from the city's southern suburbs to the city in the morning. In the afternoon, the direction is reversed, allowing traffic to flow from the city to the south.
Announcing the duplication project early last year, former Premier Mike Rann said the Southern Expressway was the "perfect example of an 'interim measure' that was badly planned, poorly designed and hugely expensive to fix."
The Southern Expressway Duplication Supplementary Project Impact Report is available from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website at <http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/>.