CCFSA continues road funding call

The body says ‘death corridor’ needs urgent attention in order to facilitate freight growth

CCFSA continues road funding call
CCFSA CEO Phil Sutherland.


The Civil Contractors Federation of SA (CCFSA) has called for an urgent upgrade of "one of South Australia’s most critical road freight routes" because of its recent accident record.

Directing its attention at the federal and South Australian governments, the industry body says a $1.2 billion upgrade is needed to reduce the toll on the National Highway A1.

According to CCFSA CEO Phil Sutherland, the section of the highway between Port Wakefield and Port Augusta has seen over 31 traffic accidents, 61 serious casualties and 14 fatalities in the past three years.

"The road between Port Wakefield and Port Augusta is an absolute death corridor – it’s a disgrace for a national highway, and well below the standard you expect in a first world economy," Sutherland says.

"It beggars belief that this section of National Highway A1 - also called the Augusta Highway – remains in such a dilapidated state given its crucial link to the national road system.

"Inexplicably, upgrading and duplicating this sub-standard section of highway – which forms part of a nationally significant freight corridor, and is integral to the National Freight and Supply Chain - does not even appear on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority list.

"The SA Government’s 30 year Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan sees the duplication of the highway as a ‘longer term’ measure – tragically, that means more people will lose their lives on that section of the highway."

The 200km stretch of road from Port Wakefield north to Port Augusta, which forms part of the 14,500km National Highway A1, is a two lane road that accommodates cars and heavy vehicle traffic, including B-Doubles, B-Triples and road trains.

The industry body says this situation is hampered by "narrow bridges and a railway level crossing" and a road surface condition that "features degraded road shoulders and verges, roughness and rutting of the road surface, and is generally a patchwork of bitumen showing regular repair and maintenance works."

As an incentive to fix the road, Sutherland says the state government would see growth in local productivity.

"Upgrading this section of highway will tick many boxes including public safety, relieving road transport congestion, connecting regional communities, creating new jobs and business opportunities and increasing productivity," Sutherland says.

"Freight corridors in the eastern states are far superior to those in South Australia.

"It’s time the Federal Government joined with the SA Government and sorted out the Port Wakefield to Port Augusta highway mess."

The latest call for action follows a similar move earlier this month by the CCFSA, when it teamed up with the Port Augusta City Council to call on both governments to commit to funding an upgrade of Yorkey Crossing Road near Port Augusta.




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