A new 3,000 tonne bridge in South Australia has opened as part of the $620 million Darlington Upgrade Project, allowing traffic to be reconfigured for safer, more efficient travel.

A traffic switch involving the reconfiguration of northbound traffic on Main South Road between the Southern Expressway and Sturt Road will allow for lowered motorway excavation works in this area.

In November 2017, the 180m long bridge was constructed off-site and then transported into place using ‘self-propelled modular transporters’, similar to remote controlled trailers, which travel at approximately 100m an hour.

In order to undertake further excavation, a major traffic switch will take place for northbound traffic which will result in significant changes to the way motorists access Flinders Medical Centre and Sturt Road.

A second bridge is scheduled to be installed later this year via the same method and will deliver northbound Main South Road traffic over the Southern Expressway to the non-stop lowered motorway.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, said the Darlington Upgrade was part of the Turnbull Government’s investment of more than $5 billion in South Australian infrastructure.

“The Turnbull Government is backing these key infrastructure projects in South Australia to ease congestion and this is possible because of a stronger economy,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Whether it’s a tradie trying to get to five jobs in a day instead of three, or a parent trying to drop the kids off at school on time we want to ensure people are spending less time stuck in traffic and more time doing the things they’d rather be doing.

“The Turnbull Government will continue to work with the Marshall Government to deliver key infrastructure projects for South Australia, including the completion of the remaining sections of the North-South Corridor.”

SA Premier, Steven Marshall, said that the project was 65 per cent complete and supported approximately 370 jobs per year during construction.

“This project is a vital piece of the North-South Corridor which will help cut travel times for commuters, ease traffic congestion and provide a more efficient freight route once complete,” Mr Marshall said.

“The new State Liberal Government remains committed to working constructively with the Turnbull Coalition Government to deliver more productive infrastructure projects which will help grow our economy and support more jobs.”

Federal Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, said this milestone would be welcome news for residents and local businesses in southern Adelaide.

“The traffic switch will result in significant changes for motorists but ultimately means a safer and quicker commute for motorists travelling to work, dropping the kids at school or accessing the Flinders Medical Centre and University precinct,” Ms Flint said.

The $620 million Darlington Upgrade project is expected to be completed by mid-2019 and is jointly funded, with the Federal Government contributing $496 million and the State Government contributing the remaining $124 million.

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