Protracted roadworks along the Horrocks Highway and the choice of repair locations to this main arterial road leading freight, tourists and residents to the Clare Valley and Adelaide are angering road users.
“It sounds impressive when you hear that $55 million has been allocated and spent on the Horrocks Highway – but unfortunately the money has gone to ‘easy’ fixes and not on critical dangerous sections of this road,” Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP said.
“And what is worse, is that work on the sections which are being upgraded seems to be sporadic at best, but restrictive road signage asking drivers to reduce to speeds of 60 and 80 km/ph have been up for months in 100km/ph zones, slowing traffic and causing frustration.”
Mr Brock said the current ‘upgrades’ were nothing more than band aids which would not fix the critical issues affecting major sections of the highway.
Selected lengths of the road are being upgraded but instead of completing the works in a timely way, signage has gone out advising speed restrictions while the construction has ground to a halt.
“Some sections have speed restrictions but there is no sign of any roadwork having happened or about to happen,” Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP said.
“The non-completion of a section of highway just north of Watervale in the Frome electorate while new sealing works have begun south of Auburn recently makes no sense.”
Mr Brock said he believed the sections of road which have been resealed and completed both north and south of Clare would not have been classed as dangerous roads – “I would suggest that they were in fair condition.”
“There are many more locations along the section of Horrocks Highway between Tarlee and Roseworthy which severely undulating and extremely hazardous – but nothing is being done there.
“These, surely, should have been made a priority for repair and resealing, rather than wasting funds repairing existing flat road which are in an acceptable condition.”
Regional residents have declared the Horrocks Highway to be ‘worst highway in the State’ and the millions of dollars currently being spent on it for an ‘upgrade’ is ‘nothing more than a joke’.
The Horrocks Highway is the main route for heavy transport, including grain trucks, to New South Wales via Broken Hill as well as being a tourist route.
The ‘improvements’ form part of the South Australian Rural Roads package jointly funded by the Australian and South Australian governments aiming to improve safety, connectivity and freight efficiency as well as creating jobs.