Southern entry point revealed for Torrens to Darlington tunnels

Artist’s impression of the Torrens to Darlington (T2D) Project, the final piece of the North-South Corridor project. Image courtesy of T2D.
Artist’s impression of the Torrens to Darlington (T2D) Project. Image courtesy of T2D.

The South Australian Government has revealed the southern entry and exit points for the Torrens to Darlington (T2D) tunnels, the final 10.5 kilometre piece and the most complex part of the North-South Corridor.

A purpose-built site near Tonsley Boulevard, in Clovelly Park, has been revealed as the launch site.

Known as the southern laydown area, this site will be used to assemble two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) that will dig four kilometres of tunnels for the new six-kilometre motorway – which will ultimately connect Darlington to Anzac Highway.

The site will also provide facilities to support tunnel-boring operations, such as workshops, storage facilities, tunnel access paths and transport routes.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said the announcement signified an important milestone in the delivery of the project.

“The Morrison Government has invested billions in the North-South Corridor – the most significant infrastructure project ever undertaken in the state – as part of its record $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive the nation’s world-leading economic recovery,” Minister Fletcher said.

The North-South Corridor is South Australia’s most ambitious infrastructure project to date, connecting the north and south bound traffic (including freight) running between Gawler and Old Noarlunga and passing through the Adelaide CBD.

When complete, the T2D project will complete a 78-kilometre non-stop motorway between Gawler and Old Noarlunga, allowing motorists to bypass 21 sets of traffic lights in the approximately 10.5 kilometres between the River Torrens and Darlington.

The project is jointly funded by the Australian and South Australian governments, with the section between Darlington and Anzac Highway accounting for $5.4 billion of the total estimated $9.9 billion project cost. This includes an additional $1 billion announced by the South Australian Government in its 2021-22 budget to account for the budget overruns.

The decision to run the last section of the corridor underground came in November last year after a comprehensive study, which confirmed the best option for the project was a hybrid+ option – meaning around 60 per cent of the project would be tunnels.

The South Australian Government is now starting a negotiation process with the property owners, which comprise of 390 properties, including both residential and businesses.

South Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard said the project team had already commenced engagement with affected property owners in the southern laydown area, noting that the number of affected properties in the hybrid+ option was 480 fewer than the open-motorway option.

“When we announced this project we made a commitment to let the community know as soon as possible, when activities would begin in particular locations and which properties were likely to be impacted,” the Minister said.

“When we know, you’ll know and as soon as we get certainty on elements of the Reference Design, we’ll be engaging with impacted land owners directly, before information is shared with the broader public,” he added.

The development of the reference design is ongoing and will be finalised in the second half of the year. Construction of T2D is expected to begin in 2023, with completion planned for 2028.

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