About the Heysen Tunnels
Named after artist and benefactor Sir Hans Heysen, the Heysen Tunnels were constructed as part of the $151 million Adelaide to Crafers Highway Project.
These tunnels carry the South Eastern Freeway (part of the National Highway network linking Adelaide to Melbourne and signed as National Highway M1) under Eagle On The Hill in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia.
In 1998, the tunnels were excavated through a steep hill using a 50 tonne SW200 tunnelling machine, which was a first for South Australia. Approximately 100,000 cubic metres of rock was excavated from each 500 metre long tunnel.
Costing a total of $151 million, it was funded by the federal and state governments.
The tunnels were opened on Sunday, 5 March 2000, with each constructed to carry three lanes of traffic.
The maximum height of vehicles permitted in the tunnels is 5.3 metres, the same as the Crafers and Mt Osmond interchanges. Laser height detectors monitor traffic to provide warnings to drivers before they attempt to enter the tunnel.
As of 2018, more than 50,000 vehicles pass through the tunnels daily.
In June 2020, it was announced that as part of the Marshall Government’s $1 billion economic stimulus package, $15 million has been allocated to refit and upgrade safety for the Heysen Tunnel. At the time of the announcement, the completion date for the project would be in late 2021.
Read what commuters have to say about the tunnels on their 21st birthday celebration at https://www.facebook.com/DFITSA/