A major brawl over the alignment of the proposed River Torrens Bridge is still unresolved, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
“Even though the Labor Government made a major announcement on the $350 million Convention Centre project last week, there was no announcement on the alignment of the bridge,” Mr Lucas said.
“The original proposal for the bridge was for it to cross the Torrens at plaza level from Adelaide Oval to the Festival Centre Plaza.
“This proposal is strongly supported by cricket and football authorities, the Festival Centre Trust, the Casino and bureaucrats involved in public transport policy.
“The logic is obvious as thousands of sport followers will be delivered directly to public transport options at the train station and also for bus and tram options on King William Road.
“However, the brawl about alignment has arisen because the Labor Government tried to hide part of the Adelaide Oval cost blowout by putting the cost of the proposed bridge ($30-40 million) in the Convention Centre budget.
“Unsurprisingly, the Convention Centre is now arguing the alignment of the bridge should be changed to go from Adelaide Oval direct to the Convention Centre. This proposal is also at river level which is lower than the plaza level of the original proposal.
“From the Convention Centre viewpoint it is understandable they would prefer thousands of sport followers feeding into their commercial outlets, such as Regattas, rather than cafes and restaurants near the Festival Centre and Casino.
“The Liberal Party has been informed the Premier has been supporting the Convention Centre proposal, which is now causing major problems for the project’s progress.
“A major problem with the Convention Centre proposal is that the thousands of sport supporters leaving Adelaide Oval will have to climb down 37 steps to the bridge, rather than walking straight across at plaza level.
“The safety concerns with so many supporters crowding down this number of steps should be obvious.
“The Liberal Party understands both the Stadium Management Authority and Festival Centre have written letters of protest to the Government at the proposed change to the bridge alignment.
“The logic of the original bridge proposal is impossible to fault, so it is time for the Premier and Convention Centre to back off and allow the bridge to proceed.”