The $160 million O-Bahn City Access Project has officially opened in Adelaide, improving travel for all vehicles in the city’s East End.

Buses will begin using the 670m tunnel from mid-December 2017, saving valuable time for passengers and improving the reliability of O-Bahn services.

On average more than 1,000 buses will use the tunnel each weekday, improving travel times for other road users by freeing up valuable space on the Inner Ring Route.

South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said the major infrastructure project has supported hundreds of local jobs and provided millions of dollars of work for local South Australian businesses.

“The O-Bahn tunnel is about easing the commute for more than 30,000 people who use the service every day. It’s not just bus passengers who’ll benefit – creating an extra lane for buses along Hackney Road and detouring them into the tunnel means more road space for other vehicles.”

The O-Bahn City Access Project has supported 450 jobs, providing employment to South Australians in the construction, professional and technical services industries, and more than $94 million of contracts have been awarded to local South Australian businesses.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan, said the tunnel is a critical piece of infrastructure which will make bus trips on the busiest public transport network faster and more reliable, while also freeing up more road space for cars and other vehicles, particularly on the Inner City Ring Route.

“It’s a huge credit to all involved in this complex infrastructure project, particularly the major contractor McConnell Dowell, that the tunnel has not only been completed on time but also on budget.

“We know that some O-Bahn services can take up to 20 minutes just to travel from Grenfell Street to Hackney Road and that just shows how significant the benefits from this project will be.”

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