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SA Freight Council calls for tunnel under Springfield foothills to funnel trucks from the Freeway to South Rd
A tunnel under the foothills behind Springfield should be built as part of a link between the South East Freeway and South Rd, the SA Freight Council says.
When the North-South Corridor is completed, trucks will want to head straight for that route rather than weaving through the eastern suburbs, council chief executive Evan Knapp said.
“The North South Corridor is going to be transformational,” he said.
“It’s going to change everything.
“Freight and other traffic is definitely going to move off Portrush Rd and go down Cross Rd to get to that high-speed corridor as fast as possible.
“That’s going to happen whether we like it or not.”
With rail level crossings, schools, houses and businesses on an already busy Cross Rd, it would need an expensive upgrade, Mr Knapp said.
In a submission to Infrastructure SA’s 20-year strategic plan, the SA Freight Council proposes an alternative to the Cross Rd option.
Its South East Link route would tunnel from the arrester bed at the last downhill corner of the SE Freeway, under the foothills to emerge near the Carrick Hill estate and Brownhill Creek.
The link would connect to Springbank and Daws roads and through to South Rd.
Mr Knapp acknowledged the project would likely cost billions of dollars and there would be complex elements such as bridging Brownhill Creek and getting to Springbank Rd.
“But there are real benefits,” he said.
“It would take the nastiest part out of the SE Freeway (the intersection with Portrush, Glen Osmond and Cross roads where there have been several fatalities). That would deliver significant safety benefits.
“It’s also about the cost-benefit ratio. It would deliver great benefits for all the southern suburbs as well.”
Military support has been called in to hunt for Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod.
The proposal would also address many of the traffic and safety issues which led to the Globelink air-rail-road freight hub which the Liberal Party took to last year’s election.
“We don’t see Globelink as a priority,” Mr Knapp said.
“But the SE Link is ideally placed to be part of a revised Globelink.”
The Freight Council submission to Infrastructure SA ranks more than 40 projects or issues as urgent, high priority, future or subject-to-demand.
Council chairman Phil Baker said transport and logistics were crucial for economic and community development.
“Efficient, effective and productive infrastructure delivers a competitive advantage that as a state and nation we cannot afford to ignore,” Mr Baker said.
Urgent projects focus on safety — such as upgrading Eyre Peninsula roads because of the cessation of grain trains — and efficiency — such as developing the eastern flank of Adelaide Airport as a dedicated freight zone accessed from Richmond Rd.
High priority projects should be addressed within 5 to ten years.
This included breaking through the impasse on a deepwater port in the Spencer Gulf for mineral and grain exports.
“We do need Government leadership to assist industry in placing that port,” Mr Knapp said.
Future projects included rail upgrades so trains can double-stack containers and duplicating the Swanport Bridge at Murray Bridge.
Beyond specific projects, the council wants governments to consider looming impacts of technology.
Heavy vehicle “platooning” — where trucks travel close to each guided by electronic links and anti-collision systems — offered safety and cost benefits if managed properly.
The growing interest in deliveries by drone of small parcels and fast foods like pizza required planning for safe air corridors.
“It’s something we need to think about now so we’re not impacting on airspace required for airports,” Mr Knapp said.
“This will evolve over time.”