CCF Phil Sutherland on South Rd on December 29. The organisation has called on the SA and federal governments to commit funding past 2018. Contributed
A MAJOR upgrade to South Road in Adelaide may just run out of money before it’s finished, a lobby group has claimed.
The Civic Contractors Federation of South Australia said there was no budget for the project after 2018.
South Rd is part of Adelaide’s planned north-south freight corridor. It is destined to be the major route through the city for freight vehicles in coming decades.
In its public blurb on the upgrade, Infrastructure South Australia said the current road wouldn’t be able to handle future traffic, or the size of freight carriers that wanted to travel on it.
Five sections of the north-south corridor have already been built.
Another three sections are funded and under construction.
But the CCF believed three other sections not currently funded won’t get the money needed to finish off the full upgrade.
The CCF has called on both the state and federal governments to commit money past 2018.
“Unless money is urgently earmarked for this crucial piece of road infrastructure, all of the work will come to a standstill and Adelaide will be left with a road that simply shunts congestion up and down the road. That’s not a freeway,” CCF chief executive officer Phil Sutherland said in a statement.
“There is a genuine fear that the full South Road upgrade will end up like similar projects overseas where the money has run out resulting in road infrastructure – including tunnels and freeways – going nowhere, and with fly-overs just dangling in the air.”
Mr Sutherland said when Tony Abbott was serving as prime Minister in 2013, he promised to complete the upgrade within a decade.
At least the state government has long been aware of a funding shortfall.
South Australia’s treasurer Tom Koutsantonis told the ABC in May 2015 Mr Abbott’s 10-year pledge probably wouldn’t be met because there were no extra funds in that year’s federal budget.
In its renewed call for funding, the CCF said the South Australia Government didn’t have the capacity to fund the three troubled sections of the upgrade.
“The Federal Government needs to step up and support the SA Government with this,” Mr Sutherland said.
“South Australians pay federal taxes and they deserve better roads.”
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29th Dec 2016 2:20 PM