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State Govt open to giving more money to build city bikeway

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The State Government says it’s willing to consider giving more money to Adelaide City Council to complete a new east-west bikeway through the CBD, following revelations it could cost up to $20 million.

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The council’s director of operations, Beth Davidson-Park, revealed at Tuesday night’s meeting that if the council were to replicate the standard of the Frome Street section of the north-west bikeway on a second east-west route, it would need to spend up to $20 million, exceeding the current $5.5 million in council and State Government funding set aside for the project.

“To do the east-west (bikeway) at the standard of (the) Frome Street section of the north-south bikeway would be in the vicinity of $16 to $20 million,” Davidson-Park told the council chamber.

“We still need to detail that design and cost it.”

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor told InDaily that while the council currently had $5.5 million set aside for the east-west route, the cost of the project would ultimately depend on the final design.

She said councillors would attend a workshop this month to discuss the quality and type of infrastructure required, which would allow the council’s administration to determine the project’s estimated cost.

“It depends how long, what quality, which street… because each place has to be looked at separately and each one is going to have a different cost depending on the degree of difficulty to put in the infrastructure and the level of infrastructure that you’re going to put in,” she said.

“It might mean that, for instance, if we’re going to do a bikeway that goes from Flinders (and) Franklin – literally goes from one side of the city straight across the other side of the city – we can’t deliver that for $5 million.

“If it was the same quality as the Frome (Street) bike lane and it was going to go from Hutt Street all the way to West Terrace, we can’t deliver that for $5 million.”

Verschoor said it was possible the council would be required to source further funding from the State Government or elsewhere to deliver on the east-west route.

“It’s not a given but there is the potential that we would need to do that,” she said.

“We would look at all options for funding.”

Asked if the State Government was open to giving Adelaide City Council with money to complete the east-west route, a government spokesperson told InDaily: “As yet no proposal has been put to State Government, however we would be happy to work with the Council to explore alternative funding options.”

The spokesperson later clarified that “alternative funding options” could include providing the city council with direct State Government funding.

The council decided in 2017 that it would build the east-west bikeway along Flinders and Franklin streets, as both streets were already popular with cyclists, featured no bus stops and had the potential for widened footpaths and more street trees.

However, a report on the Flinders-Franklin separated bikeway presented to the council in 2017 said it would require “changes to traffic and parking arrangements (which) will cause concern to some members of the community” – and there may be “some impacts to existing outdoor dining areas”.

On Tuesday night the council voted against starting a consultation for the delivery of the east-west bikeway through the CBD in April, after south ward councillor Alexander Hyde warned “rushing” the process could result in a repeat of the mistakes made during the construction of the contentious north-south route, which was rebuilt in a new, thinner design last year.

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