The first sod has been turned on the $125 million Flinders Link Project, extending the current Tonsley rail line to the Flinders medical and education precincts.
Jointly funded by the Morrison and Marshall Governments, the 650 metre extension of the rail line, including an elevated single track over Sturt Road, Laffers Triangle and Main South Road, will link the Tonsley Innovation District, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University to the Adelaide Metro rail network.
The Flinders Link Project also includes construction of the new Flinders Station and an integrated shared pedestrian and cycling path.
Piling works are being undertaken along the length of the project site, starting on the western side of Main South Road and progressively moving towards the northern end of the project site.
A 25m-high continuous flight auger piling rig, crane, excavator and concrete trucks will be used during piling works, installing a total of 147 piles, or support columns, for the project.
Installation of the piles, 82 supporting the new rail bridge and 65 installed for the elevated walkway, lift and stair facilities, is expected to be complete by the end of August.
Removal of the original Tonsley Station is almost complete which will allow for construction of retaining walls and bridge abutment, the ramp for the elevated rail track, and realignment of the current rail track.
The project is expected to support on average 55 full-time equivalent jobs per year over the life of the project.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, says the linking of Flinders Medical Centre, Tonsley precinct and Flinders University to the passenger rail network will benefit the entire community.
“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $62.5 million towards the $125 million project, which will benefit a large cross section of the community who access the Flinders education, innovation and health precinct,” Mr McCormack says.
The State Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Stephan Knoll, says: “The Marshall Government is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to build a better public transport network that delivers more customer focused services.
“The Tonsley line extension builds on the $615 million Gawler electrification project currently underway, as well as the $33.5 million on the table to build Park ‘n’ Rides along the O-Bahn,” Mr Knoll says.
The Federal Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, says the project will provide exciting new public transport options for local residents, students and staff, and finally connect the University, FMC and Tonsley with the city and Adelaide Train Station.
“This project will create local construction jobs and support future investment and growth in our local area,” Ms Flint says.
“It is fantastic to see another congestion busting infrastructure project underway in our community thanks to the investment of the Morrison and Marshall Governments.”
Flinders University’s Vice President of Corporate Services, Mark Gregory, says the Flinders Link train will be a critical piece of infrastructure connecting the University precinct with the CBD.
“The train connection will help us attract private capital for the development of the new Flinders Village,” Mr Gregory says.
“This is very exciting for our University – for our students, researchers, and our communities here in southern Adelaide.
“The rail link will also complement the University’s activities at the Tonsley Innovation District, support the Flinders health precinct, and improve connectivity for businesses and the community.
On every measure this new train station is a positive and practical investment that will yield significant benefits,” he says.