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Roads Australia Insider - 15 May, 2020

SA’s 20-year Strategy a welcome roadmap to the future

Roads Australia (RA) has welcomed this week’s release of South Australia’s inaugural 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy, the State’s new road map for growing its economy, improving government service delivery, supporting population growth and creating jobs.

The Strategy was developed by Infrastructure South Australia (ISA) after extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders, including RA.

The Marshall Government established ISA in 2018 to provide independent advice to the government on infrastructure planning, investment and delivery.

The Strategy articulates seven key principles and 38 long-term priorities spanning a range of sectors across the State. There is also an increased focus on resilience and flexibility in light of the bushfires of 2019/20 and the COVID-19 crisis.

RA’s submission to Infrastructure South Australia last year made recommendations around project sustainability evaluation, capacity-building, integrated land and infrastructure planning, and electric and autonomous vehicles.

“The importance of these issues is recognised in the final version of the Strategy,” RA President Michael Bushby said this week.

“We’re especially pleased to see resilience acknowledged as a key factor in infrastructure planning, design, delivery and maintenance.

“The recent bushfire crisis underlines the growing challenge we face in protecting infrastructure such as roads from the impacts of climate-related events.

“Many regional communities are completely reliant on their road in or out - more so immediately before, during and after a fire or flood.

“We have to ensure our existing and new road infrastructure can stand up to these increasingly severe weather events and bounce back quickly afterwards.”

Mr Bushby also welcomed the recognition in the Strategy of the need to address the significant level of outstanding maintenance that exists across SA’s road network.

“It is a problem not just in South Australia, but in every state and territory,” he said.

“The longer we leave it, the greater the cost to the community.”


Preferred proponent announced to build congestion-busting Tonkin Gap project

The Tonkin Gap Alliance has been selected as preferred proponent to build the Tonkin Gap project and associated works for the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line. The Alliance - comprising BMD, Georgiou, WA Limestone, BG&E and GHD - will work with Main Roads WA to deliver the project, which will fix a major bottleneck between Morley and Redcliffe.

The WA Government says the project is part of an accelerated pipeline of major road projects worth an estimated $2.37 billion.

"Road and rail projects will play a key part to WA's economic recovery going forward. This project will fix one of Perth's most congested roads while laying the groundwork for the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line," according to Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

"Tonkin Gap is a major component of the train line to Ellenbrook, with two dive structures and the foundation for the rail included in the project scope.

"Together with New Bayswater Station procurement, we now have two out of three major contracts for Morley-Ellenbrook Line at an advanced stage.

"Removing this bottleneck along this section of Tonkin Highway will unlock the potential of Tonkin Highway. It's just one of several upgrades we have planned for Tonkin Highway, with upgrades planned for the intersections of Kelvin, Welshpool and Hale roads.

"Building this project, combined with construction of other nearby major projects like the new Bayswater Station and Morley-Ellenbrook Line, will help support the WA economy through some tough times ahead."


All eyes on $1b Rocky Ring Road as concepts unveiled

The Queensland and Australian governments have today unveiled the concept design for the 17-kilometre, $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road - a project that promises to improve travel times for 35,000 daily drivers and will feature a new Fitzroy River crossing.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, who recently inspected major road upgrades in Rockhampton, says it will be the largest road project in

Queensland once shovels hit the ground, supporting close to 800 jobs.

The road will provide a western link of the Bruce Highway extending from the Capricorn Highway (Nelson Street) in the south, through to Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road/Bruce Highway intersection in the north.

It will also create better connections between Gracemere and Parkhurst, improve access to the Capricorn Coast in the east, and link the crucial resource and agriculture sectors to the west

The community is being invited to provide on-line feedback on the design until the end of June.

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