A 500m tunnel to take buses from Hackney Road to Rundle Road, cutting four minutes off travel time, was promised by the Labor Government today.
Premier Jay Weatherill said a Labor Government “will progress planning in 2014/15 with the aim to complete construction by 2017”.
A plan to extend the guided busway was announced in May 2009, but did not proceed.
In January 2011 the Federal Government said the extension would be cancelled “as a result of a significant scope reduction of the original project, resulting in only limited transport benefits”.
The latest proposal is for a $160 million lowered busway and underpass that connects to the cross-city priority lane.
The proposed dual-carriageway will extend for about 500m beneath Hackney Road from near Plane Tree Drive, under the busy North Terrace and Rundle Road intersections.
The exit ramp will emerge next to the Parklands near East Terrace to connect with the cross-city priority bus lane.
Weatherill said more than 22,000 people use the O-Bahn system on more than 1100 bus services a day.
“This proposal will significantly reduce travel times on Adelaide’s most popular public transport corridor and speed up what is currently the slowest part of the journey for both cars and public transport users,” the Premier said.
“The North Terrace intersection is currently a heavily congested area, especially during peak times, but by taking buses off the road from Hackney into the city the project will take pressure off major intersections at North Terrace and Rundle Road.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said while the project had been submitted to Infrastructure Australia for federal funding, the State Government had decided to go it alone.
“This project builds on the $17 million already invested in refurbishing the three interchanges at Modbury, Klemzig and Paradise,” he said.
The O-Bahn Busway was opened in 1986, replacing an earlier plan for a tramway extension.
It runs on a specially built track, through Klemzig, Paradise, Campbelltown and Tea Tree Plaza.
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