Adelaide is one of Australia's fastest growing cities. In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the population of Greater Adelaide increased 1 per cent to reach 1.30 million in June 2014.
With these figures expected to continue rising, it is important that the state government and local Adelaide councils continue to improve the region's infrastructure.
Part of these plans include the O-Bahn City Access Project. Key to any modern city, public transport networks need to be fast, regular and efficient which is exactly what the South Australian state government expects this project to achieve.
In March, we reported that the O-Bahn bus track would be extended through a 500m tunnel. This piece of infrastructure would cut close to seven minutes off Adelaide commuter times and would encourage South Australians to leave their vehicles at home, switching to the quicker bus routes.
In anticipation of work starting on the tunnel in the coming months, the state government has announced McConnell Dowell as the principle designers and builders of the $160 million tunnel project.
Success in the past
Supporting more than 450 jobs, the O-Bahn City Access project is another chapter in the proud history of McConnell Dowell. According to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan, the local business brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the table.
"McConnell Dowell has delivered some of the state's key infrastructure projects in recent times, including the award-winning Riverbank Bridge – the centrepiece of our Riverbank Precinct," he said in an October 26 media statement.
"The company has also been involved in a number of other award-winning projects including the Bakewell Underpass and the Adelaide Showgrounds Station."
As with any modern tunnel infrastructure, technology will play a critical role in its construction. This project is no different with McConnell Dowel working alongside SAGE Automation for key components such as ventilation, surveillance and incident detection.
"We have a proud history of delivering new infrastructure here and this project continues that tradition." Chief Executive Scott Cummins explained.
Design phase continues
Due to the complex nature of tunnelling projects and the prospect that the infrastructure will need to last for the best part of a century, the government and associated providers are working hard to ensure it meets public expectations.
Consultations are still open with submissions likely to play a vital role in the final outcome.