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Ben's Adelaide to Crafers highway Page

This page is about the new section of highway joining Adelaide to the South-Eastern Freeway (in South Australia). For many years drivers have had to negotiate the dangerously windy and slow Mt Barker Road, which will be bypassed by the new section of highway. One of the main features of this new highway are the dual five-hundered metre tunnels.

What's on this site?

About the new highway:

The new highway has dual carriageways, with three lanes each direction. For most of the highway, there is a constant gradient of (7%), which levels shortly before the city. Due to the dynamic terrain, it has been built to highway, not freeway standards. This means that there is no continuous breakdown lane, however breakdown bays have been provided in some areas. If you are inclined to break down, it would be appreciated if you ask your vehicle to breakdown as close as possible to one of these bays :-)

To deal with the continuous gradient, arrestor beds have been provided in a number of places on the down track, for vehicles that have limited or no breaking power left. For more information see the pictures of the arrestor beds.

The highway has apparently been designed for a speed of ninety kilometres per hour, however it will be zoned at one hundred except for the tunnels which will be at ninety for a trial period.

All of this is a significant improvement to the Mt. Barker Road, which had two lanes each direction and many sharp corners with advised speeds of around thirty to sixty kilometres per hour. The new highway is two kilometres shorter and will save a lot of time, wear, stress and lives.

I am certain that the new highway is not the solution to all problems. Various issues have been pointed out in the newspapers, such as driver behaviour (many cars drivers having an unjustified and illegal preference for travelling in the rightmost lane) and urban sprawl.

The new highway will, I imagine, reduce costs for truck transport as the will be much less demand and wear on the trucks, as well as their drivers. This may slightly reduce pollution, however it may encourage further truck transport instead of rail, causing more congestion and pollution. As for safety, although the job will be made a lot safer for the truck driver, the onus is still upon them to control their vehicles along the long decent into Adelaide.

When a larger road is constructed, there is always a 'suction' effect: the larger road will attract more traffic as drivers will want to use the newer, larger, faster road. It will be interesting to see if many vehicles will switch from Greenhill road to the new highway. Fortunately the design for the highway appears to be rather thorough as they have upgraded the intersection where the highway enters suburbia. The new intersection has more lanes and appears to have a better layout, however the three main roads that are fed by the highway have not been changed, as far as I know. The default road to the city is often restricted to one lane during non-peak periods, while during peak periods the two lanes each direction are often congested by turning traffic. I do not think that this is a road that lends itself to truck travel, however many trucks do travel on it. This means that we have three lanes travelling at high speed which are meant to slow down to sixty and divert into two lanes turing right into a two laned road, two or three lanes proceeding straight through into a road that is effectively one lane, and one lane turning left into a steepish, two lane road. I do not know how this will work out: one day when I have some time I may observe it in action and see if it causes congestion. This will probably be on my way to an exam..... not the ideal time to observe how congested a road is and realize how late you're going to be as the traffic comes to a crawl when you near your destination.

Anyway, the new highway is well due, personally I am grateful that we will now have a connection to the freeway of a standard that is expected in these times.

Send comments by E-mail to: benreuter at usa dot net (As I'm busily studying at the moment don't expect a quick reply)

This page created: Thursday, March 2, 2000