Darlington Upgrade awarded to Fulton Hogan & Laing O'Rourke


A Fulton Hogan and Laing O'Rourke joint venture has been awarded the major works contract for the Darlington Upgrade Project.

Worth $620 million, the Darlington Upgrade will receive the majority of its funding from the federal government ($496 million) with $124 million coming from the South Australian government.

The Darlington Upgrade forms an important part of the overall upgrade of the North-South Corridor in Adelaide, and will ultimately ensure that 3.3km of the Main South Road is revitalised.

Major aspects of the Darlington Upgrade include:

  • Non-stop motorway travel between the Southern Expressway and Tonsley Boulevard - an immense saving on time and relief for traffic.
  • A lowered, non-stop motorway which passes beneath Flinders Drive, Sturt Road, Sutton Road/Mimosa Terrace and Tonsley Boulevard.
  • Main South Road/Ayliffes Road/Shepherds Hill Road intersection to receive a grade separation.
  • Main South Road service roads on both sides of the lowered motorway - this will provide connections to Flinders Drive, Sturt Road and the majority of local roads.
  • A full free-flow interchange at the Southern Expressway/Main South Road. This will include dedicated ramps for access to Main South Road and the new motorway.

It will be interesting to see just how "free flowing" this free-flow interchange is in rush hour.

An aspect of the project yet to be determined is rezoning of certain areas. A stated goal of the Darlington Upgrade is to integrate land use and transport outcomes, alongside improved transport connectivity between Flinders University and Tonsley.

Peter Kessler, Chief Executive Officer of Construction at Fulton Hogan, said, "We are targeting over 90% of the content for the Darlington Upgrade to be provided by local industry. Local people, either working directly for the project or employed by local subcontractors, will make up our workforce."

"We have spent months consulting South Australian-based suppliers and subcontractors, including urban designers and landscape architects, to maximise their involvement. This approach will create strong employment opportunities for Adelaidians in the construction sector, as well as Fulton Hogan's 300-plus South Australian-based employees."

Mr Kessler was quick to point out that the Darlington Upgrade would have significant effects on the local economy far into the future, particularly in regards to upskilling the workforce. "The Darlington Upgrade also provides an opportunity for us to help foster a new pool of talent for the sector, with Target Group participation making up at least twenty percent of the project's workforce."

Check out a drive-through animation of the project below:

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Sources: Fulton Hogan, Government of South Australia.

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