Freeway delays

More than 30 cameras will help detect incidents on the freeway between Crafers and Stirling under the new managed motorways project.

The next few months could prove to be a testing time for the thousands of motorists who use the South Eastern Freeway on a daily basis.
The $35m worth of works to resurface the 4km stretch of road between the Heysen Tunnels to the Tollgate began this week and is not expected to be completed until July.
The road carries more than 50,000 vehicles each day and the work comes just weeks after the same commuters experienced major delays for months on end during a separate project to create a third lane at the bottleneck between Stirling and Crafers.
Freeway commuters are no strangers to lengthy delays, with lane closures caused by accidents and vehicle breakdowns frequently causing traffic jams along the region’s main thoroughfare.
The resurfacing project is the first of its kind on that section of the freeway in 20 years and, with millions of vehicles using the road every year – including huge numbers of heavy vehicles heading for Adelaide’s northern suburbs – it’s undoubtedly an essential project.
The reality is that roadworks can’t be done without some traffic delays.
But, just like the frequent break-downs and accidents, these most recent interruptions to smooth traffic flow highlight the problem with having only one viable way in and out of the region.
Motorists have almost no other options to dodge the roadworks with Upper Sturt and Greenhill roads not designed for heavy traffic use.
Road rage and commuter frustration aside, the past two years have demonstrated the very real and rapidly increasing risk of serious bushfires in the region.
Having only one quick and direct way out of the most populated part of the Hills could cause havoc during a bushfire, especially if compounded by an accident or break-down – neither of which are unlikely during catastrophic fire conditions.
As the region grows, this problem is only going to intensify.