Adelaide Road

Designs for the $45m duplication of the Adelaide Road freeway bridge have been released.

The State Government’s latest major funding pledge ahead of the State election is welcome news for a region that has been underfunded for far too long.
While the plans are out for consultation and could still change, a $45m duplication of the Adelaide Road bridge over the freeway is likely to help ease congestion in what is increasingly becoming a traffic choke point.
But the multi-million dollar project, which is already funded through the $250m State and Federal funding pool originally announced for the Hahndorf freeway interchange upgrade, is only one small part of the solution.
Adelaide Road, which is the main artery into Mt Barker, is already congested at the freeway bridge.
But without further major investment along the road, this bridge duplication project risks merely moving the choke point further along the thoroughfare.
The Government is investigating solutions for the intersection of Adelaide, Alexandrina, Flaxley and Wellington roads.
But more work is also needed along Adelaide Road between there and the interchange.
A double-lane road with no right turning lanes is no longer suitable as the main entrance into what is expected to become SA’s second biggest city.
This will only get worse.
The completion of more housing developments and the Heysen Boulevard will funnel even more traffic onto Adelaide Road.
While announcing the bridge duplication last week, Transport Minister Corey Wingard said he was focused on projects that could be delivered “now”.
With very little new infrastructure provided for the growing region over the past decade since 1300ha of land was rezoned for housing, immediate action is welcome.
However, what the region really needs is a forward-thinking government to put in place a long-term plan, outlining infrastructure needed to cater for the rapid growth of the region, how that infrastructure will be funded and when it will be constructed.
If governments are only focused on what can be achieved in the short-term, the region will never have the infrastructure it needs.
Successive governments have been playing catch up with the Hills for far too long.
It’s now time for both sides of politics to start planning for the long-term needs of the region.