Road repairs take priority in move to save SA jobs

Road repairs take priority in move to save SA jobs

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THE state government had fast-tracked several key road network repair projects as part of its plan to stimulate the economy and support local jobs.

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THE state government had fast-tracked several key road network repair projects as part of its plan to stimulate the economy and support local jobs.

It claims 165 jobs sill be supported in the $120 million plan, which includes road repairs on Stuart, Yorke, Dukes and Riddock highways, an upgrade of the Heysen Tunnel and repairs the South Eastern Freeway, between the Tollgate and Crafers.

Other key plans include $12m for a higher capacity North-South freight route that will bypass Adelaide, and $6m to seal Adventure Way and Innincka Airport Road.

The $120m is in addition to the $21.5m of construction contracts released last week to upgrade almost 200 kilometres of Cleve Road and Browns Well Highway.

Premier Steven Marshall said the state government was fast tracking new infrastructure projects to help keep more South Australians in a job and support local businesses during these unprecedented times.

"We are acting decisively to support South Australians and safeguard our economy as we all grapple with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

"By fast tracking infrastructure projects, providing tax relief for households and businesses and delivering business and community support funding, we are aiming to keep as many hard-working South Australians in a job as possible."

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Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll said tenders had already been released for the Heysen Tunnel refit and Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport Road sealing to get these projects underway as soon as possible.

"We are trying to get these projects out the door as quickly as possible to support more South Australian jobs and businesses as we deal with the impacts of the coronavirus," he said.

"These projects will help fix hundreds of kilometres of roads and highways, improve road safety and help save lives on our country roads."

The RAA has welcomed the announcement, saying it was good news for the economy and road safety.

RAA Safety and Infrastructure senior manager Charles Mountain said the RAA had previously identified the need for maintenance on the regional road network, particularly the highways.

"The investment on these routes will be money well spent," he said.

"The funding allocation for critical regional routes will save lives, create jobs and help transport efficiency.''

Mr Mountain said the investment in upgrading the surface of the South East Freeway would be much appreciated by the users of this important corridor, particularly those driving heavy vehicles.

"Combined with the resealing works that are currently underway around Callington and Monarto, this should result in a smoother and safer drive,'' he said.

"This should also be the case with the work on the Dukes Highway, which also carries a high volume of vehicles travelling east and west, and the Stuart Highway, which is the principal road-train link to the state's north.''

Mr Mountain said the investment in the Riddoch Highway was much appreciated, given RAA has been urging an upgrade on this key route to the state's South East, including the construction of additional overtaking lanes.

"The investment in the alternative North-South Freight Route is also welcomed to make it safer and more efficient for heavy vehicles, potentially easing the growth of this traffic using the SE Freeway,'' he said.

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