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South Road tunnel is a fast-track solution to gridlock frustration

Monday, 11th Feb 2019

RAA welcomes the State Government’s announcement to explore a tunnel option under South Road to ease traffic congestion, as suggested by the state’s largest motoring body a decade ago.

For many years, RAA has lobbied for the creation of a North-South Corridor to cope with increasing traffic volumes, reduce emissions and cut travel times.

As part of its Towards 2020 – RAA’s Vision for South Australian Roads report released in 2009, RAA argued a tunnel could provide the best solution to tackle traffic choke points along the corridor.

In the report, RAA acknowledged that a tunnel would be an expensive exercise, but argued it would provide superior traffic flow than simply widening this existing section of South Road.

RAA Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain said it was encouraging to see the State Government looking at all options in order to expand the non-stop corridor.

“The critical difference to address the remaining sections between a tunnel and a lowered motorway with service roads, like Torrens-to-Torrens, is it minimises disruption to existing businesses and residents,’’ Mr Mountain said.   

“The tunnel option provides the opportunity to keep a significant portion of the work below the road, reduce property acquistion and potentially allow businesses to continue trading.

“This is an option definitely worth exploring with further analysis.’’

Mr Mountain said RAA has supported all road infrastructure options to deliver the North-South Corridor since 2009, including the tunnel plan for South Road.

RAA has argued the higher cost of tunnels can be offset against the cost savings tunnels offer from the reduced requirement for compulsory property purchases to complete road upgrades.

State Transport Minister Stephan Knoll announced on Sunday that the government was looking at using tunnels to extend the North-South Corridor in the western and southern suburbs.

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