$190m plan unveiled to end traffic chaos

Read about the plans to fix 40 years of traffic chaos at Oaklands crossing.

A $190 million plan to fix 40 years of traffic chaos at Oaklands crossing has been applauded by motorists and the community.

However, the plan hinges on the Federal Government agreeing to redirect about $150 million in savings from the Northern Connector project into Oaklands.

The Federal Government has already promised $40 million during the election campaign towards fixing the road and rail bottleneck, at the corner of Morphett and Diagonal roads.

Premier Jay Weatherill and State Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan announced the plan, which followed a community campaign led by Marion Council.

It is the first major commitment since plans were unveiled and then later dropped to solve the traffic congestion in the 1970s.

Mayor Kris Hanna has welcomed the latest plan while the community immediately took to social media to voice their support.

“I salute the 2850 people who signed up to Council’s campaign to fix Oaklands crossing,” Mr Hanna said.

“Your support, with some helpful political candidates, reinforced my lobbying efforts which resulted in a Federal Government commitment of $40 million. 

“We are not there yet but this is a huge boost from the State Government which is responsible for fixing the crossing.”

More than 41,000 vehicles a day use the intersection, with delays adding up to 20 minutes to a typical journey during peak hour.

The State Government has estimated the cost of fixing Oaklands crossing at $190 million, depending on the engineering solution that is found.

The Northern Connector project was anticipated to cost $985 million – comprising $788 million from the Federal Government and $197 million from the State Government.

However, competitive conditions in the construction industry have meant the project saved $150 million, which the State Government wants to reinvest into Oaklands crossing.

Mr Mullighan said the injection of funds would enable an upgrade of Oaklands crossing to be delivered sooner.

“Level crossings cannot only cause congestion and delays to motorists, they also pose potentially dangerous junctions where vehicles, trains and pedestrians can come to grief,” Mr Mullighan said.City Limits - Issue 52 - August 2016 - Mayor Kris Hanna

“We are already partnering with the Commonwealth on our top priority rail junction – the $238 million Torrens Junction project near Bowden – and now we want to extend that joint approach to the Oaklands crossing.”

A decision on whether the traffic snarls could be solved by putting the rail line under or over the road is yet to be decided.

In 2012, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure released a planning study which assessed four grade separation options.

DPTI’s preferred option at the time was to take the Seaford rail line over the roads by building a 1.1km rail overpass.

The construction cost was estimated at $100-$110 million in 2012.

At the time of going to press, the Federal Government was yet to formally respond to the State Government’s plan.

City Limits Magazine

The City Limits Magazine is a community publication that keeps Marion residents in touch with what is happening in their community. It includes information about major projects, council initiatives and events, as well as profiles of community members.

It is published three times a year and distributed to 40,000 residents and businesses in the Marion Council area.