Hard work means fewer project delays despite Covid pandemic

Hard work that has kept the majority of South Australian infrastructure projects on or ahead of schedule despite COVID-19 restrictions will mean fewer projects will be delayed as a result of the recent SA lockdown and the current situation across other states.

Although some projects will unavoidably be delayed by the recent and necessary response to COVID-19, other projects have delivered key milestones on time or ahead of schedule despite the pandemic challenges including:

  • Goodwood, Springbank and Daws Road Intersection Upgrade
  • Ovingham Level Crossing Removal Project
  • Main North and Nottage Terrace Intersection Upgrade
  • The Port Wakefield Overpass is still on track to open to traffic by Easter 2022

Despite some difficulties with securing speciality interstate resources, the Joy Baluch AM Bridge Duplication Project is also still on track.

Unavoidably, some key projects will be completed later than originally scheduled including:

  • The Gawler Rail Electrification Project (GREP) will be completed in early 2022 (was late 2021).
  • The new Granite Island Causeway at Victor Harbor will now potentially open in January 2022 (was late December 2021).

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the impact of COVID-19 on project timeframes would have been worse if not for the hard work of the respective project teams over the past 12 months.

“Over the past year we’ve been working extremely hard to deliver a number of key projects and milestones on schedule despite the many challenges posed by COVID-19,” Minister Wingard said.

“This hard work has paid off and means that timeframes around a number of important projects, like the Springbank Road and Daws Road realignment at Goodwood Road are ahead of schedule and others like the Ovingham Level Crossing Removal Project are progressing on target.

“These are projects that will benefit thousands of South Australian motorists every day, by improving safety and travel times along key road corridors.

“It’s also a huge effort that since March 2020, the Department for Infrastructure and Transport has put more than $1.8 billion in new transport infrastructure projects to the market.

“This includes well over $100 million worth of stimulus works that have been put to the market and for the most part completed since November last year.

“The contractors who’ve been working on these projects have done an outstanding job and I thank them immensely for their efforts.

“However, due to the recent lockdowns and other restrictions in our state and across the country it is unavoidable that some key infrastructure projects will be delayed, no matter how hard we work to make up the time.

“Lockdown events are necessary to protect our state from the effects of COVID-19, but they also unfortunately delay infrastructure projects longer than the duration of the shutdown.

“The project teams are working hard to make up time wherever they can but construction sites take time to shutdown and to restart and COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions and border closures across Australia also cause challenges including shortages of labour, materials and machinery.

“In some cases resources were redeployed interstate following the announcement of the seven-day lockdown here in SA and the remobilisation of construction teams takes time.

“I want to thank all of the project teams for their hard work to get construction back up and running as quickly as possible so they can get them finished to benefit all South Australians.”

The Gawler Rail Electrification Project is particularly impacted as key electrification specialists were immediately re-assigned to other projects interstate when the lockdown was imposed here.

Nationally there is a very high demand for these specialists and this can result in long lead-times to re-secure these essential resources.

The open to traffic dates of the following projects are also expected to be delayed slightly:

  • Main North, McIntyre, Kings Road Intersection, now August 2021 (was July 2021).
  • Dublin Saleyards Access Project, August 2021 (was July 2021).
  • Golden Grove Park ‘n’ Ride, April 2022 (was March 2022).

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