By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: October 9, 2020 at 7:10 am
The Federal Budget has been announced, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has made his big speech, and now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and see how the government’s spending will impact our state.
The good news is funding will be injected into several key road projects that RAA has been calling for.
There were 2 major wins for road users: $625 million was allocated to transport and infrastructure in South Australia, while another $2 billion was set aside nationally for road-safety projects.
Let’s look at where exactly the money is going.
1. South Eastern Fwy upgrades
Cash: $28m + $7m from the state government
Following RAA’s South Eastern Fwy assessment, we’ve seen several announcements about upgrades to the major arterial road.
RAA’s report called for a range of safety improvements, including an additional safety ramp near the bottom of the freeway.
We’re still waiting on further details to be released about where the funding will be spent.
That being said, we should see resealing between Crafers and Glen Osmond, refurbishment of the Heysen tunnels and new speed-activated signs on the downtrack.
2. Hahndorf township improvements
Cash: $200m + $50m from the state government
Many motorists raised concerns about the popular Hahndorf main street (Mount Barker Rd) in RAA’s Adelaide Hills Regional Road Assessment.
The main thoroughfare sees a high level of freight, pedestrian and tourist traffic, which has caused concerns about congestion and safety.
RAA’s been pushing for an extra access point at Verdun for citybound traffic.
The upgrade isn’t expected to start until late 2022. At this early stage, we’re not sure what it will include, so RAA will keep a close eye on how the project is panning out.
3. Victor Harbor Rd upgrades (Mt Compass to Victor Harbor)
Between 2015 and 2019, Victor Harbor Rd saw a shocking number of casualty crashes. In fact, there were 100, resulting in 6 fatalities.
The area south of Mount Compass was the worst affected, with 3 times more casualty crashes per kilometre travelled than the area between McLaren Vale and Mt Compass.
Our members are also worried about Victor Harbor Rd, voting it the third riskiest regional road in the RAA’s 2019 Risky Roads Survey.
There’s no official word yet on exactly how the $12m will be spent, but there’s been talk about new overtaking lanes being installed.
4. Main South Rd duplication (Aldinga to Sellicks Beach)
Cash: $136m + $34m from state government
Main South Rd between Aldinga and Sellicks Beach has also featured heavily in RAA’s Risky Roads surveys.
Following its number 1 ranking in 2017, a commitment was made to duplicate the stretch between Seaford and Sellicks Beach, with funding allocated between Seaford and Aldinga only.
However South Australians were still concerned about the section between Aldinga and Sellicks Beach, rating it the 2nd riskiest road in the most recent survey.
Now, the federal government has announced a further $136m to continue duplicating the road, showing how important the project really is.
The number of people hospitalised in Australia each day due to road trauma.
5. Princes Hwy Corridor
Cash: $136m + $34m from state government
Following RAA’s recommendations for a raft of upgrades along the Princes Hwy Corridor, the federal government has come to the party, allocating funding for upgrades.
The corridor includes the highway through the South East, as well as parts of the South Eastern Freeway, Port Wakefield Rd and Augusta Hwy.
Upgrades to be completed include intersection improvements, new overtaking lanes, rest areas, shoulder sealing and improved signage.
6. Road safety
Cash: $2 billion
About 100 Australians are hospitalised every day due to road trauma, and in the last financial year alone, 1105 Australians died in crashes. Road trauma also costs the economy about $30 billion per year.
The federal government has allocated $2 billion for road-safety projects, nationally. These projects include the installation of wire rope safety barriers and rumble strips.