Plan for the future

Hills business identity Rob Gilbert believes Bollen Road should be extended north, past the Totness Recreation Park to a new interchange at the freeway.

The concept proposed by Hills business identity Rob Gilbert to funnel traffic directly from the Heysen Boulevard to the freeway is worth exploring.
The current plans show the increased traffic generated by the booming housing developments around Mt Barker being sent to the existing freeway interchange via Adelaide Road – a road which is already nearing capacity.
The two-lane road – which has no right turning lanes – reaches choking point every day during school drop-off and pick-up times – an issue that will worsen if more traffic enters at the existing Hawthorn Road intersection.
Mr Gilbert’s vision has simplicity on its side.
His proposed on and off ramps are a piece of simple infrastructure regularly replicated along the main thoroughfares along Australia’s east coast.
Having a third freeway entry and exit point is not an extravagant ask when you consider Mt Barker is predicted to become SA’s second biggest city within two decades.
A rejection of a third interchange is likely to result in a massive expansion of Adelaide Road – which is an option hamstrung by the constraints of the bridge over the freeway and the limits of the current interchange to cope with the predicted increase in traffic.
Mt Barker’s infrastructure was never designed to cater for the volumes of traffic found in a city and it is imperative that all levels of government cater for this growth before – not after – existing infrastructure reaches crisis point.
The Federal Government has demonstrated a willingness to fund a massive list of infrastructure projects over the past couple of years in its bid to keep the nation’s economy afloat during the pandemic.
The $250m commitment to a new interchange in Hahndorf – which will finally give motorists access to the busy tourist town from both directions of the freeway – is an example of this willingness and provides the State Government with a perfect opportunity to consider how and whether it can come up with a solution for the north-western end of Mt Barker at the same time.
It’s that kind of proactive forward planning we need to see from our State and Federal governments in order to provide the type of infrastructure in Mt Barker that is appropriate for a rapidly developing city.