tunnel project

Crucial early works of over $85 million are now underway for the $9.9 billion Torrens to Darlington (T2D) project in South Australia. 

The works have started at the southern end of the project corridor around Clovelly Park and include the relocation of South Australia Power Networks (SAPN) cabling helping to clear the way for T2D’s Southern Tunnel launch site and staging area. 

Works to relocate Optus telecommunications services are also underway.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said these early enabling works would help T2D’s planned main construction to proceed smoothly.

“The Morrison Government has invested billions in the North-South Corridor – the most significant infrastructure project ever undertaken in the state – as part of its record $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive the nation’s world-leading economic recovery,” Mr Fletcher said.

“When finished, this project will bypass 21 sets of traffic lights between the River Torrens and Darlington, with the journey taking on average eight minutes, saving motorists up to 24 minutes in travel time.”

South Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said getting this work done early will help ensure the Torrens to Darlington main construction, especially the first stage of tunnelling, can start as scheduled in 2023.

“We know these utility services need to be relocated to make way for the tunnels, so we’re cracking on with that task now while we continue to finalise the reference design for the project,” Mr Wingard said.

“These works, which are part of a broader package of enabling-works worth more than $85 million, are supporting 157 jobs and creating employment for more South Australians during the early phases of this important project.

“This is the biggest road infrastructure project in our state’s history, and we’re proud to be getting on with delivering it in consultation with the community and for the benefit of the people of South Australia.

“Not only will T2D get people from A to B faster, it will also support more than 4,500 jobs and underpin our construction industry for the next decade.”

The majority of the current SAPN relocation works will be carried out in the streets of Clovelly Park immediately west of South Road.

Optus will be installing telecommunication pits, and disconnecting and connecting cables, on York Avenue, Princes Parade and South Road, until the end of September, 2021.

The latest phase of work follows announcement of the planned southern laydown area in Tonsley-Clovelly Park, from where two tunnel-boring machines will launch to excavate the twin three-lane Southern Tunnels.

The T2D project team will be speaking face-to-face with local residents and businesses in coming months about what potential changes to their neighbourhoods might mean for them.

The South Australia Department for Infrastructure and Transport is committed to communicating with any impacted land owners as soon as certainty is achieved on elements of the Reference Design that allow identification of affected properties.

The project team will also be engaging with people whose properties will not be required for acquisition, but who live or work near the planned construction area or motorway.

Once T2D is finished, South Australian motorists will be able to enjoy a 78km non-stop motorway between Gawler and Old Noarlunga, which will bust congestion and drastically cut travel times.

A recently completed survey canvassing the views of about 3,600 people showed more than 75 per cent of respondents who frequently use South Road or live near the proposed T2D corridor have ”positive” sentiment towards the project.

Major construction of the Southern Tunnels is expected to commence in late 2023, pending relevant approvals, with the entire 10.5km project expected to be completed in 2030.

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