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South Road Superway

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published August 28th 2013
Los Angeles comes to Adelaide
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The South Road Superway Seen from Grand Junction Road


The South Road Superway is the biggest and most expensive single infrastructure road project in the history of South Australia.

But many people don't know much about it as it comes closer to completion at the end of 2013. So what is it, why is it important, how much will it cost, and how does it work? Read on for the answers to all of those questions.

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Underneath the South Road Superway


What is the South Road Superway?
The South Road Superway is a 4.8 kilometre section of freeway which includes 2.8 kilometre of the elevated roadway that we have seen on U.S TV programs for years. It links the Port River Expressway to Regency Road, making travel from Gawler and northern areas to the city much faster via South Road.

The Superway passes over the Dry Creek to Port Adelaide railway, Cormack Road, Grand Junction Road and Days Road, with options to exit at Grand Junction Road and Days road.

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Snow White Crane - Used to Construct the Superway


Why build the Superway?
Much of Adelaide's traffic passes in a north-south direction along South Road, and several bottlenecks have been identified as needing improvement. The end goal is to create a non-stop north-south corridor from Gawler to Old Noarlunga.

Adelaide has four major industrial transport hubs that all access South Road: Adelaide Airport, Islington Rail Terminal, Port Adelaide and Outer Harbour. Improving the traffic flow along South Road will have direct benefits for people in Adelaide, as well as for the economy of South Australia by improving transportation efficiency.

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The Woodville High School Band on Open Day


OK how much does it cost?
The figures are a little rubbery until the project is completed, but the total cost of the South Road Superway is estimated to be $932 million, with the Federal government contributing $500 million and the State government contributing the balance for this infrastructure project.

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Piers Support the Elevated Road Made of Segments


How is the elevated part of the Superway made?
The basic details of construction are quite simple. Concrete piles (30m long and 1m diameter) are driven into the ground. A 2m thick concrete pile cap is placed on the piles to distribute the weight of the Superway over the piles.

The 68 huge vertical support piers are the first visible part of the Superway - each weighs up to 464 tonnes and contains around 70 tonnes of reinforcing steel.

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Site Safety is Paramount


The piers support the individual segments which will form the carriageway (road), and which vary slightly in size and shape. More than 2200 segments will be needed, and each weighs between 68 and 90 tonnes.

All these components will combine to support three lanes of traffic in each direction over the 2.8km of elevated road. Traffic will travel at 18 metres above ground level at the highest point.

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Pier Meets Segment


So how are the pieces assembled?

The bridge segments are made locally at a precast yard on South Road in Angle Park to minimise cost and logistics problems with transport. More than 300 workers are needed to produce segments, which are then transported by truck to the work site. A 140m long Launching Truss is used to add new segments to the existing elevated roadway, and the truss then moves along the road to remain at the unfinished end. In places where access is more difficult, a crane known as Snow White, or a pair of smaller Segment Lifters add new segments to the Superway.

For a much more detailed account of how assembly occurs, see here.

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Visitors Walk Through a Segment


The Superway Open Day
SA Planning, Transport and Infrastructure recently held an Open Day to allow the public to get up close to see the construction of the Superway.

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Signing an Autograph in a Segment


Visitors were given an opportunity to see a bridge segment up close and autograph it before it is put into place.

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Crossing Grand Junction Road


From there they could walk the length of the elevated roadway and across the 83m span 16m high over Grand Junction Road. At the north (incomplete) end the Launching Truss was on display and operating.

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The Massive Launching Truss


The Superway has come a long way since construction started in April 2011. The elevated roadway is anticipated to be open to traffic by December - will you be first over the line?

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The End of the Road (For Now)

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Why? Get to your destination quicker
Where: South Rd, Regency Park
Cost: $932m
Your Comment
Awesome info I also have some great shots of bridge before it was joined together. love yr articles
by coof1 (score: 1|37) 1936 days ago
Interesting article Dave. Congratulations on all your recent awards.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12104) 1936 days ago
Interesting article I've worked on the bridge for the last two years and we should see traffic south bound on the bridge by the end of Jan 2014. But I cant wait for the section of road from Torrens road to the Torrens river to get going, it probably should have been done first .
by taraw (score: 0|8) 1809 days ago
So, North-South Motorway? Who in DPTI came up with that wholeheartedly descriptive but plain Jane name? No offense intended to ladies of the name Jane.
by russe (score: 1|16) 1689 days ago
Dave, are you sure its Adelaide? lol. You've certainly been busy!
by glenop (score: 2|823) 1936 days ago
You need to get out more. Suggest Germany, Italy& France. The crane is a Liebherr, made in Germany, real technology! LA just Mickey mouse!
by roman (score: 0|5) 1934 days ago
Wow, that much money!!! Great article my family are in Gawler, look forward to driving over.
by mehid (score: 2|131) 1936 days ago
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