Tenders have been called for a $14 million freight route upgrade that would send B-double trucks through Palmer and Tungkillo on route to Lobethal.
The route, designed by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), would take B-double trucks from Sedan to Mannum along Ridley Road, from Mannum to Palmer along Randell Road and through Tungkillo and Mount Torrens along Terlinga Road.
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the project would improve safety, productivity and efficiency in the transport of goods.
“Which, in turn, will benefit the region by supporting economic growth, creating jobs and enhancing export competitiveness,” he said.
“This project will upgrade a 34 kilometre route to provide heavy vehicle access from the existing Adelaide Hills freight route at Palmer, through Tungkillo and Mount Torrens to the Thomas Foods International facility in Lobethal.”
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said that once the project is complete, the freight route to Lobethal would be approved for Higher Productivity Vehicles (HPVs).
“This includes B-Doubles up to 26 metres long, as currently only vehicles up to ‘standard’ semi-trailers 19 metres long can service the Lobethal region,” he said.
“Some of the major improvements on the freight route will include junction and culvert upgrades for safe turning movements; upgrades to bridge structures and road pavement; safety improvements including road widening and shoulder sealing; and road alignment improvements.”
He said the upgrade would improve productivity and reduce “last mile” access issues.
“The Australian government is working closely with industry to improve freight productivity, including through upgrades like this, as well as initiatives such as the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” he said.
Works are expected to start late 2017 and scheduled for completion by late 2018.
Mid Murray Council’s chief executive officer Russell Peate said council would encourage DPTI to liase with the communities of Tungkillo and Palmer about safety concerns and advise council of all road work schedules.
“We will continue to follow DPTI’s progress for the community,” he said.
“We will benefit from the road upgrades as a result of this project.”
Council’s infrastructure services director Greg Hill said his major concern was that the trucks will bypass Mannum and travel along Milendella Road as a shortcut.
“Milendella Road isn’t ready for B-doubles so the aim will be to do it up so it is,” he said.
He said the criteria for the design was that the roads will all cater for B-doubles.
“There must be appropriate stopping areas along the route,” he said.
During the upgrades, eight bridge structures will be widened or strengthened.
Both Palmer and Tungkillo’s progress associations will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the town’s stance on the project.