SA projects to boost PT

Northern Connector and O-Bahn tunnel the focus for Adelaide infrastructure this year

Construction will begin on almost $2.5 billion of major infrastructure projects in South Australia (SA) this year, with a focus on increasing the reach and capacity of the public transport network.

The biggest major infrastructure project this year is the $985 million Northern Connector due to start in May.

"The $620 million Darlington Upgrade and $160 million O-Bahn tunnel are also due to start early in 2016 and together these three projects alone should support more than 850 jobs this year," SA transport and infrastructure minister Stephen Mullighan says.

"These projects are in addition to almost $4 billion of major infrastructure projects already underway."

The new 650 metre O-Bahn tunnel will improve travel times for more than 31,000 bus passengers and more than 70,000 private vehicle drivers.

In the evening peak it can currently take more than 20 minutes to travel the 1.5 kilometres between Hackney Road and Grenfell Street, which hampers the O-Bahn’s reliability and also delays all traffic including O-Bahn buses, but the new tunnel will relieve the congestion once complete.

The project impact report shows safety benefits with the changes to Hackney Road, including fewer accidents and includes plans for a brand new parking area.

Other public transport projects due to begin this year include the $27 million Bald Hills public transport interchange, which should be complete by the end of this year, and an $18 million upgrade for Kangaroo Island Airport.

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