Augusta Highway inaction labelled "inexcusable" by peak infrastructure body

AUGUSTA HIGHWAY: Police inspect debris left behind after Friday's horror truck-crash on the Augusta Highway. Photo: Phil Williams.
AUGUSTA HIGHWAY: Police inspect debris left behind after Friday's horror truck-crash on the Augusta Highway. Photo: Phil Williams.

A weekend of tragedy on the Augusta Highway has reignited conversation around unfinished upgrades on the notoriously dangerous stretch of road.

The Civil Contractors Federation South Australia (CCF) have labelled Friday's double fatality head on truck crash as "inexcusable".

The CFF have called into question the lack of action at state and federal levels over years to convert the heavily trafficked route into a dual north and south lanes along its full length.

Just after 1am on Friday, April 19, police and emergency services were called to the Highway, about 5km south of Horrocks Pass Road at Miranda after reports of a head on crash between two trucks.

Upon arrival police found two B-doubles had collided head on with one truck bursting into flames.

Sadly, both drivers a 31-year-old man from the Port Augusta area and a 35-year-old man from Campbelltown died at the scene.

CCF (SA) Chief Executive Phil Sutherland said the unfinished highway project will continue to claim lives until it becomes a full four lane corridor.

"It is not about politics - it has to be about saving lives, reducing unnecessary road trauma and ensuring this commercial, tourist and regional gateway into Adelaide or all points north, becomes a 'must fix now' priority," Mr Sutherland said.

"The overdue upgrade didn't even make it into the country's top ten highest priority funding commitments in February's release by Infrastructure Australia of its main focus.

"Such short-sightedness and lack of understanding as to the very import of this SA highway, is no longer tolerable."

More than 500 people have been killed South Australian regional roads over the past eight years.

The Augusta Highway has claimed the lives of 20 motorists alone in the past three years and has been responsible for over 60 serious injuries.

In the lead up to the pending May election, the CFF (SA) have asked the federal government to give SA a "fair go" when it comes to road funding.

South Australia has 11 per cent of the national road network, but receives just 7 per cent of the funding.

"South Australians deserve much better than what they have been getting. Infrastructure Australia has got it wrong and its assessment process is flawed," Mr Sutherland said.

"South Australia's road network remains the worst in the nation and was largely built soon after the Second World War to service an entirely different economy. The economy then was much smaller, there were fewer people, the traffic was less, and the vehicles were smaller and lighter.

"What we need is better roads, and the Augusta Highway is top of that list."

This story Call to action following B-double fatality first appeared on The Transcontinental.