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The Northern Connector is among the almost $2.5 billion in major South Australian infrastructure projects to begin construction this year.
The Northern Connector is among the almost $2.5 billion in major South Australian infrastructure projects to begin construction this year.

$2.5 billion in new infrastructure to begin in 2016

Demand for building materials is expected to soar in one state this year, as construction begins on several major infrastructure projects.

The South Australian Government has indicated that the state has a boom year ahead, as construction commences on almost $2.5 billion of major projects in 2016.

SA Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan forecast that, when combined with other projects continuing on from 2015, the value of South Australia’s major projects would rise to more than $6 billion.

“Our biggest major infrastructure project to commence this year will be the $985 million Northern Connector, due to start in May,” Mullighan stated.

“The $620 million Darlington Upgrade and $160 million O-Bahn tunnel are also due to start early in 2016 and together these three projects alone should support more than 850 jobs this year.”

The Northern Connector project involves the construction of a new six-lane 15.5km road linking Adelaide’s Northern Expressway with the South Road Superway and the Port River Expressway. It is part of the North-South Corridor project, a major 78km route that will be constructed between Gawler and Old Noarlunga over a 10-year period.

The Darlington Upgrade is also part of the North-South Corridor project and proposes to upgrade approximately 3.3km of the existing Main South Road.

The O-Bahn City Access Project involves connecting the existing O-Bahn bus track to the Adelaide CBD via a 650m underground tunnel to reduce traffic congestion and improve travel times for commuters.

Prioritising local content

Mullighan said thousands of jobs would be created as the state government began delivering on its infrastructure commitments, including its pledge to build 1000 new houses in 1000 days, to redevelop Festival Plaza, and to launch a city school, which would not only provide 400 jobs during construction but also 120 ongoing jobs for school staff.

“City planning reforms have also unlocked 44 private sector-funded projects, now underway or approved, valued at $1.4 billion and supporting hundreds of jobs in the construction industry,” Mullighan said.

He added that companies that employed local workers and used local products would have a greater chance of winning government infrastructure work under changes made late last year to the SA Government’s Industry Participation Policy.

The policy was introduced to strengthen the state’s economy by requiring successful project tenderers and major project proponents to identify and report on how they would ensure local suppliers were provided with “reasonable opportunities” to compete for work.

The policy applies to all federally-funded infrastructure and construction projects managed by the SA Government as well as projects receiving significant government support or endorsement.

More reading
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