Motorists who use the South Eastern Freeway are on the road to a smoother, safer journey, with nearly 12 lane kilometres and almost 35,000 tonnes of new asphalting already complete.
The biggest pavement rehabilitation works in two decades are currently underway, generating around 165 jobs, with three city bound lanes from west of the Heysen Tunnels to the Toll Gate now complete and works recently started on the three outbound lanes.
The $35 million project is delivering major pavement rehabilitation works including the intersection of South Eastern Freeway, Portrush Road, Cross Roads and Glen Osmond Road through to the Crafers Interchange.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard said the works are well underway with almost 35,000 tonnes of asphalt already laid.
“We’re about half way through these major works – the likes of which haven’t been undertaken on this section of Freeway in more than 20 years,” Minister Wingard said.
“Tens of thousands of Adelaide Hills motorists will benefit from the pavement rehabilitation and resurfacing along the South Eastern Freeway delivering a far smoother and safer journey.
“Speed restrictions remain in place along the newly resurfaced sections of the freeway for approximately four to six weeks following completion of works, to enable excess bitumen to be worn to a safe level.
“All going well, and with satisfactory testing, the speed limit should be lifted on parts of the down track by the end of this week.
“The works are being conducted in stages so that we are able to keep the freeway open to traffic with restrictions and to minimise the disruption as much as possible.
“Motorists have so far been extremely patient during these works and I thank them for their ongoing understanding.
“Following a recent truck breakdown on the freeway that caused frustrating delays I asked the Department for Infrastructure and Transport to explore contingency options and as a result a tow-truck will now be on stand-by for use until the works are complete.
“We know that commuters may be frustrated with the current traffic arrangements, however, these works will ensure the safety and integrity of the freeway for decades to come.”
Member for Heysen, Josh Teague, said these once in a generation upgrade works will provide major safety improvements for Hills residents.
“We all bear with the temporary speed and other restrictions while works are completed. I am glad that progress has been steady, and thank all those who are out doing this work day and night,” Mr Teague said.
“The Hills, and our regions, are receiving much needed infrastructure investment that is overdue, having been neglected by the previous government. We are getting on with the job.”
Member for Kavel, Dan Cregan, also welcomed the upgrades.
“These works have been badly needed for a long time and I’m very pleased that we are about halfway through the project,” Mr Cregan said.
The asphalt mix being used incorporates, on average, 20 per cent ‘Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement’ which includes old asphalt from the South Eastern Freeway.
Works on a section of the final surface layer known as Open Grade Asphalt started early April 2021, which will provide increased safety in wet weather and reduced noise levels.
Completion of pavement rehabilitation works on the South Eastern Freeway, between the Toll Gate and Heysen Tunnels is expected by mid-2021, weather permitting.
As well as resurfacing from the Toll Gate to the tunnels, we’re also upgrading the surface from inside the tunnels to Crafers interchange. Works on this section will be carried out later in the year when the weather is warmer and temperatures are suitable for laying asphalt.
The project is jointly funded as part of the Stimulus 2 program (80:20) by the Australian and South Australian governments.