Torrens to Darlington reference designs released in Adelaide

The congestion-busting $9.9 billion Torrens to Darlington (T2D) Project has reached a significant milestone with the release of the project’s Reference Design for community feedback.

Today’s release shows for the first time the design of the project in its entirety and how motorists will travel between the River Torrens and Anzac Highway, including:

  • More than two kilometres of twin three-lane tunnels;
  • The avoidance of impact on heritage sites in Adelaide’s inner-west;
  • The extent of the Northern Tunnels, with entry and exit points at Hilton and Torrensville; and
  • East-west connectivity maintained and enhanced at James Congdon Drive, Richmond Road, and Everard and Barwell avenues.

The Reference Design covers the full length of the 10.5-kilometre non-stop motorway between the River Torrens and Darlington, which includes nearly seven kilometres of tunnels that will take tens of thousands of vehicles off South Road every day.

The T2D Project is the largest road infrastructure project in South Australia’s history and when complete in 2030, it will provide a 78-kilometre non-stop, traffic light-free North-South Corridor between Gawler and Old Noarlunga.

The Reference Design is available on the T2D website: https://dit.sa.gov.au/nsc/torrens_to_darlington/

The design will also be showcased from 29 November until 12 December at more than 20 displays and information kiosks at shopping centres, council libraries and community centres across the metropolitan area as part of the next round of engagement.

South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall said this once-in-a-generation project will underpin the state’s construction industry for the next decade.

“This project is not only a generational game changer for South Australian motorists it’s also a huge boost for our local jobs market,” Premier Marshall said.

“The benefits of our solution will be felt for generations with this project estimated to create more than 4,900 jobs during peak construction, reduce travel time between River Torrens to Darlington to just nine minutes and connect the north and south of our state with an approximately 78 kilometre non-stop motorway.”

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the T2D Project was the most significant road project in South Australia’s history.

“The T2D is the final piece of the North-South corridor, which is one of the most significant projects in the state’s history and will ease congestion, allow freight to move around Adelaide more efficiently, and help commuters get home to their families sooner and safer,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The project will also inject more than $4.8 billion into the South Australian economy and support more than 4,900 jobs during peak construction, providing a clear pipeline of works for South Australian industry.

“The Morrison Government is supporting this transformational infrastructure project with a $2.711 billion investment in Stage 1 of the T2D, as part of our record $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive the nation’s economic recovery.”

South Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said this transformative motorway is the largest and most technically challenging road infrastructure project SA has ever seen.

“From today, the community can see how it will operate as a whole and the incredible benefits it will deliver through improved travel times, local connectivity and urban amenity,” Minister Wingard said.

“The design includes two sets of three-lane tunnels making up more than approximately 60 per cent of the motorway and it retains significant sites such as the Thebarton Theatre, Queen of Angels Church and Hindmarsh Cemetery.

“The positioning of the northern portal of the Northern Tunnels means Thebarton Oval, the historic World War II air-raid shelter at Ashley Street, and the 1912 Hallett kiln and chimney next to the Brickworks Marketplace will also be retained.

“This is a terrific outcome and it again demonstrates that progress and preservation can co-exist in the design and delivery of nationally significant infrastructure.”

Currently, 16 per cent of all trips across Greater Adelaide rely on a section of the T2D Project or its adjacent parallel alternatives and 96 per cent of people live within 30 minutes of the North-South Corridor, highlighting how important it is to complete the missing piece.

“Anyone who’s travelled along this section of South Road knows it’s desperately needed upgrading for years and we’re getting on with the job of doing just that,” Minister Wingard said.

“Travel time variability on South Road is up to six times higher than the Adelaide average and five times worse than Sydney and Melbourne averages during peak.

“Once complete, the T2D Project will solve that by allowing motorists to travel safely and non-stop between the completed Darlington and Torrens Road to River Torrens projects.”

The T2D Project has already awarded contracts worth more than $100 million, supporting 286 jobs. Construction of Stage 1 of the T2D Project (south of Anzac Highway) is expected to start in 2023 and take about five years to complete, while work on Stage 2 (north of Anzac Highway) is scheduled to begin in 2026, subject to planning, approvals and funding, with completion scheduled for 2030.

Stage 1 funding of $5.422 billion is currently jointly committed by the Australian and South Australian Governments.

The total number of full property acquisitions identified through the Reference Design is 393 – in line with the original estimate of approximately 390 properties announced by the T2D Project one year ago.

The Marshall Liberal Government’s November 2020 selection of the hybrid+ design for the T2D has resulted in up to 480 fewer properties being required for acquisition than would have been the case had other options been chosen.