New infrastructure projects are a must, but so is road maintenance

25 February, 2023

RAA is continuing to advocate for the state’s billion-dollar road maintenance backlog to be addressed and further upgrades to key metropolitan and regional roads and intersections to bust congestion and improve road safety.

The state’s largest membership-based organisation is continuing to advocate for key infrastructure priorities, including:

  • A $600 million road maintenance fund, to address the road maintenance backlog
  • Duplication of the National Highway network in SA – Augusta, Sturt and Dukes Highway by 2050
  • Metropolitan road upgrades, improving northern suburbs east-west links and building a third arrester bed at the end of the South Eastern Freeway
  • Regional road upgrades, including Victor Harbor Road and Mallee Highway
  • $10 million annual investment in the State Bicycle Fund

RAA Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said while new infrastructure projects were crucial to grow our state, we couldn’t afford to ignore much needed upgrades to our existing road network.

“South Australia’s road maintenance backlog is set to top $1 billion in the next few years,” Mr Reade said.

“That amounts to thousands of kilometres of our road network in need of repair which compromises road safety and productivity.

“The State Government has made some significant inroads repairing our regional road network in particular.

“We’re pleased to see the current state government continue to work on the Eyre, Augusta and Sturt Highways, as well as Main South Road.

“RAA would like to see this good momentum continue with a $600 million four-year road maintenance fund to get on top of the mountain of maintenance and start clearing the backlog.

“It’s critical for money to be budgeted to keep our roads in good condition – otherwise they become a safety risk.

“If we let our roads fill with potholes or the shoulders of regional roads crumble, it makes them far less safe and could put lives at risk.”

Mr Reade said the Torrens to Darlington project was going to absorb a lot the state’s infrastructure funding over the next decade or so.

“There is no single project more important to our state than the completion of the North-South corridor and the state government is getting on and delivering that important infrastructure,” Mr Reade said.

“That project is going to soak up a lot of South Australia’s road funding over the next decade but we can’t lose sight of other key projects, like the duplication of the Augusta, Sturt and Dukes Highways and key metropolitan upgrades.

“We’re not saying this all has to be done tomorrow. The truth is infrastructure projects are a slow burn and take years to properly plan, design and build.

“These projects will improve road safety, reduce travel times for motorists and help unlock productivity across our network to drive growth and jobs.”  

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