Road and rail infrastructure spend surges in NSW
Last week’s NSW Budget has allocated $55.6 billion across the next four years - the equivalent of about $1.2 billion a month - to invest in the State’s transport infrastructure. This includes $32.2 billion for public transport projects and $23.4 billion for road projects.
Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, said the investment would deliver on the massive commitments made to improve transport connections and services.
“Construction of the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link will start later this year and planning and preconstruction work is continuing for the Western Harbour Tunnel, Beaches Link and the first stage of the F6 Extension,” he said.
Mr Constance said the 2019-20 Budget also provided more than $300 million to improve accessibility for rail customers, part of an $885 million spend on the Transport Access Program over four years.
The Government has committed to delivering a further 68 station upgrades. These includes the renewal of Redfern, Beecroft, Bexley North, Canley Vale, Como, Faulconbridge, Goulburn, Hawkesbury River, Lapstone, Mittagong, Roseville, Wahroonga, Warrawee, Wyee and Wollstonecraft stations.
The North West Metro opened last month on time and $1 billion under Budget, while construction continues on the City and Southwest Metro line through the city and out to Bankstown, with $1.2 billion in this Budget to continue delivery. Also included is $6.4 billion over four years for Metro West, delivering on the NSW Government’s promise to accelerate construction.
Work is ramping up on the Parramatta Light Rail project, with $561 million for the project this year. This new line will connect Westmead and Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia, and is expected to open in 2023.
Mr Constance said major motorways weren’t the only roadways receiving attention, with many local roads receiving much-needed upgrades.
“Western Sydney is one of the fastest growing regions in NSW which is why the NSW Government has committed a further $480 million to upgrade sections of Mamre and Mulgoa roads.
“As part of this allocation, a 3.8 kilometre section of Mamre Road between the M4 Motorway and Erskine Park Road will be widened to four lanes, benefiting drivers for years to come,” Mr Constance said.
Critical pinch points across Sydney are also receiving attention, with an additional $450 million committed to ease congestion at key traffic bottlenecks.
For all State Budget news and papers, click here.
End in sight for North-South Corridor
The South Australian Budget handed down last week has unlocked $3.7 billion in new project funding to upgrade metropolitan roads and intersections and start work on the final and most difficult section of the North-South Corridor.
Included in the Budget announcement was $402 million in joint State and Federal funding for the Torrens Road (Ovingham) and Brighton Road (Hove) grade separations, plus another $305 million for intersection upgrades.
The Budget also delivered $252 million over the forward estimates towards the final 10.5km stretch between the River Torrens and Darlington.
“By the end of this year, all other sections of the North-South Corridor will either be complete or under construction, with major construction on the Regency Road to Pym Street project set to begin,” Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Minister, Stephan Knoll, said last week.
“This remaining 10.5-kilometre stretch is by far the most complex and difficult section.
“We now have $252 million of the $5.4 billion commitment in the forward estimates to begin planning and early works, with the final cost to be determined after we have concluded the business case.”
Summary of key metropolitan infrastructure projects outlined in the Budget
- North-South Corridor future priorities –Torrens River to Darlington - ($5.4 billion);
- Torrens Road, Ovingham level crossing ($231 million);
- Brighton Road, Hove level crossing ($171 million);
- Portrush and Magill Roads intersection upgrade ($98 million);
- Metropolitan road projects – other intersection upgrades ($86 million);
- $13 million to upgrade the intersection at Main North, Kings and McIntyre Roads;
- $19 million to upgrade the intersection at Main North Road and Nottage Terrace;
- $35 million to upgrade the intersection at Glen Osmond and Fullarton Roads;
- $19 million to upgrade the intersection at Grand Junction, Hampstead and Briens Roads;
- Fullarton and Cross Roads intersection upgrade ($61 million);
- Goodwood/Springbank/Daws Roads intersection upgrade ($60 million); and
- $32.9 million for the widening of Flagstaff Road project (including $6.4 million provided in the 2018-19 Budget).
Summary of $1.1 billion in regional infrastructure projects over eight years
- Road upgrades, including additional overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing ($143 million);
- Eyre Highway ($125 million to upgrade South Australia’s section from Port Augusta to Perth – including $32 million to upgrade Eyre Peninsula Roads following the closure of the rail line);
- Sturt Highway from Renmark to Gawler ($87.5 million);
- Barrier Highway from Cockburn to Burra ($62.5 million);
- Princes Highway upgrade ($250 million);
- Horrocks Highway Corridor ($55 million);
- Duplication of Victor Harbor Road between Main South Road and McLaren Vale ($92 million); and
- Granite Island causeway refurbishment ($20 million)
For more Budget information, go to the website.
Connected vehicle trial hits the road in Victoria
In an Australian first, on-road testing of connected vehicle technology will begin soon in Victoria.
Roads Minister Jaala Pulford said this week the trial would use advanced technology to connect vehicles directly as well as optimised 4G mobile networks to connect vehicles to one another and to traffic management centres with cloud servers using “Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)” technology.
Cellular V2X is a new technology with a customised version of 4G for connected vehicles rather than mobile phones.
The project is researching cars fitted with this technology under controlled conditions and is testing several road safety features including Red-light Violator Warnings and Pedestrian Alert Right-Turn Assist.
Trials started in late 2018 to test concept technology on controlled tracks, and on-road testing will soon begin on metropolitan and regional roads to help shape how this technology could be fitted to vehicles in the future.
The project is a partnership led by Telstra and Lexus Australia and is funded by a $3.5 million grant from the Government’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grants Program.
The grant program is managed by VicRoads and funded by the TAC through the Towards Zero Action Plan, which supports a range of initiatives to benefit road safety on roads across Victoria.
Community invited to have its say on SA's infrastructure of tomorrow
A discussion paper on the development of South Australia’s first 20-year infrastructure strategy has been released for comment, with submissions due by July 31.
Released last week, the discussion paper from Infrastructure SA (ISA) is the first step towards establishing a well-planned, long-term coordinated approach to the development of the State’s infrastructure.
The paper establishes baseline economic and social data as well as population projections, trends and the areas of focus such as transport, utilities, health and digital.
It also poses questions about the role roads, public transport, hospitals, schools, and other physical infrastructure plays in not only supporting, but also in stimulating growth in the State’s economy while enhancing its liveability.
Jeremy Conway, CEO of ISA, stressed the importance of both public and private, regional and metro perspectives to help determine how different infrastructure projects could interface with each other for more holistic and efficient outcomes.
“Key state government departments have been involved in pulling together this information and we’re sharing it widely in order to test our understanding a
The 20-Year State Infrastructure Strategy is expected to be released in early 2020 and will be reviewed and updated every five years following a further extensive public consultation process.
Jeremy Conway will be discussing the 20-Year Strategy at a Roads Australia industry lunch in Adelaide this Friday.
Improved heavy vehicle access on public roads the focus of next NTC consultation
The National Transport Commission (NTC) is seeking feedback on its third issues paper as part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) review, this time dealing with heavy vehicle access on Australian roads.
The paper considers current access arrangements under the HVNL, analyses access-related issues and seeks feedback on ways to improve heavy vehicle access.
NTC Chief Executive Officer Gillian Miles said access issues are complex and can cause problems for industry.
‘Access is straightforward for many heavy vehicles, however operators of higher-productivity vehicles often need to apply for a permit, or operate under notice, which can result in delays and other costs. These costs affect all Australian businesses and households.
‘We also need to manage our road infrastructure effectively. We need to find the best way to make sure we allow heavy vehicles access wherever it is safe and sensible and, in doing so, make access decisions quickly, consistently and transparently’, Dr Miles said.
This issues paper is part of a rolling consultation to mid-2019. Consultation on this paper is open until 16 August 2019.
Following consultation of the eight issues papers, the NTC will develop a consultation Regulation Impact Statement for comment before taking recommendations to ministers in November 2020.