Northern Connecter to be South Australia’s First Significant Concrete Roadway

The $985 million Northern Connector motorway will be the state’s very first significant roadway constructed from concrete, costing more however producing jobs, and saving money on upkeep. About 13km of the 15.5 km roadway, connecting the Northern Expressway and South Rd Superway, will be concrete, while the 4 interchanges will be standard asphalt.

In a joint announcement today, federal Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher and his state equivalent, Stephen Mullighan, will reveal the concrete construction is anticipated to support 40 extra tasks, such as the use of a slab crane to transport concrete slabs, and inject another $11 million into local industry.

“The preliminary capital cost is partially higher than an asphalt road but the advantages in regards to increased regional involvement and ongoing cost savings are well worth it,” Mr Fletcher said. Requested for a cost contrast, Mr Mullighan’s office stated concrete would cost an extra $300,000 however did not expose the total. The preliminary price quote of the upkeep saving is $23.1 million over the first 30 years, after the road is finished by 2020.

Mr Mullighan stated an extra 175,000 cubic metres of concrete would be needed for roadway pavement, all of which would come from local providers. “A concrete surface is anticipated to nearly cut in half the ongoing maintenance expenses of the roadway, with building and construction of the roadway pavement expected to begin in the 2nd half of next year,” he said. “In addition, concrete pavements offer savings for the running costs of heavy vehicles, such as fuel.”

Mr Mullighan said the road would have a “low-noise diamond grooving surface” which would be durable and safe while decreasing noise and enhancing ride quality. About 60 percent of the United States 73,000 km interstate highway system is concrete, which was chosen, in part, because of its durability. United States cement makers say concrete roads last twenty to thirty years without significant repair, while asphalt generally lasts eight to twelve years prior to resurfacing or substantial repair work is needed.

Lendlease Engineering, selected in May to design and construct the motorway, states concrete will maximise financial advantages to South Australia while minimizing continuous upkeep costs. The main professional contractor, Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia state director Todd Hacking, whose business likewise supplied concrete for significant portions of New South Wales’ Hunter Expressway, anticipated this would be the very first of many concrete roadways in SA as the financial, ecological and social advantages were understood.

Major Northern Port works are anticipated to begin within weeks, supporting 480 tasks yearly during construction, such as the work that will be given to the crane hire companies in South Australia At least half of all tasks will be filled by northern suburbs’ homeowners. Mr Mullighan said 7 previous Holden and automotive industry employees were amongst 70 people now dealing with the site.

Mildred Shaw