26 September 2023

Heysen Tunnels refit so see the light

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The Heysen Tunnels are to receive an extensive refit in a project that addresses current tunnel elements approaching the end of their service life but capable to improve safety, traffic management and incident response capabilities.

Announced by the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT), the project upgrade is to ensure the tunnels continue to service South Australia for decades to come.

The Department said some of the elements include: Upgrading the tunnel lighting to a new LED system; Installing a new automated fire suppression system; Upgrading the tunnel ventilation system; Repairing the tunnel lining; and Installing monitoring equipment.

“More than 50,000 vehicles travel through the tunnels each day, around 10 per cent of which are heavy vehicles,” the Department said.

“The works will be carried out at night from Sundays to Thursdays between 8pm and 6am to minimise the impacts to road users,” it said.

“During works, speed will be restricted to 40km per hour in both directions on the approach to the tunnels and through the down-track tunnel.”

The Department said the Australian and South Australian governments have jointly committed funding towards the Heysen Tunnels Refit and Safety Upgrade Project.

It said the Australian Government contributed $120 million and the South Australian Government $30 million as part of a broader South Eastern Freeway Upgrade, which also includes Stage 2 of the Managed Motorways Measures project.

It said the upgrades have begun and will continue throughout 2023 until the second half of 2024, with traffic alternating between the Crafers bound and Adelaide bound tunnels approximately every two months.

For more information on the Heysen tunnel upgrade, visit this PS News link.

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