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120 homes to go in "complicated" South Rd upgrade

Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Author: Kevin Naughton & David Washington, Indaily

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THE State Government will match Federal Government funding of $448 million to widen and upgrade South Road between Torrens Road and Grange Road.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said this morning the project will start before the end of June by bringing $25 million forward into this financial year.

State Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said 120 properties needed to be demolished to allow the widening of the road, and the government had already purchased 40 per cent of the required houses.

He said departmental staff would be doorknocking today to begin discussions with property owners.

Koutsantonis also warned that the engineering task - to deal with the bottlenecks of the Outer Harbour rail line, Port Road and Grange Road - would be challenging and called for the community's patience.

"It's going to be a very, very long and complicated build," he told FiveAA breakfast.

The project would take four years to complete, "at worst".

The new project funds include the cost of relocating the SA Power Network sub-station on the corner of Port Road and South Road, previously estimated to cost $200 million.

"We have been in discussions with the State Government about the various options regarding relocation of the Croydon sub-station and its significant supporting infrastructure," SA Power Networks spokesman Paul Roberts told Indaily this morning.

"As is the standard practice, the relocation costs would have to be borne by the State Government as the project's proponent."

Indaily understands that under the current proposals, the relocation costs are now below the previous estimate of $200 million.

A spokesman for Koutsantonis confirmed the total cost of the project, $996 million, includes relocating the sub-station.

Today's pre-Budget announcement brings the project back onto the books after being put on hold until after completion of the Superway, further north on South Road.

"The State Government has identified this as the most pressing and most urgent project for South Australia," Albanese told ABC Radio.

"It is ready to go.

"We've allocated $448 million - which will be matched by the State Government - for 1.4 kilometres of below the ground road, two new interchanges and one rail overpass."

Federal Liberal MP for the southern suburbs seat of Boothby, Andrew Southcott, said the northern end works were the wrong priority.

'The State Infrastructure Plan and press releases from 2007 and 2008 and 2009 said the next priority after the Superway was the Sturt Road intersection," he said.

"That's where the works need to be."

The Liberal Opposition announced its plan for a $500 million upgrade of that area last month.

However, Koutsantonis argued that the section of South Road between Torrens Road and Grange Road was prone to bottlenecks and was only one-lane each way in some places.

"Everyone in South Australia accepts it's the worst part of South Road," he said.

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