Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

The Government expects to have the North-South Corridor Reference Design ready for public notification by the end of the year. Ever since joining their southern reference group earlier this year, this has been their consistent message. 

They repeated the message again at last night’s meeting.

The North-South Corridor Reference Design is a design that the Government is happy to consult with the public on. It also allows the Department to call tenders for design & construct proposals from suitably qualified contractors.

The North-South Corridor (T2D)  is the first such infrastructure project undertaken in South Australia. A project to create an underground motorway. It has therefore not been an easy task for the Department of Infrastructure (DIT).


DIT has undertaken a massive logistical exercise of surveying, soil testing, and seeking input from the community.

Surveying along the length of the project is important to recognise who owns what and where. The soil testing is seeking to understand the structural capacity of the subsurface soil. It is also seeking to identify and underground water that may exist. Likewise, contamination.

Seeking input from the community has been a wise move by the Department. Community input has provided them with the best chance of identifying and incorporating that which is passionately held by the community. This covers a range of issues.

One of the most passionately held is east-west connectivity, particularly adjacent to the Black Forest Primary School. Another is ensuring we have green zones with an abundant amount of tree planting to increase the canopy cover. The Department has been listening and is conscious of the need to recognise these important issues in their reference design.

Other issues they will also address include such things as

  • Noise attenuation & vibration, both during construction and after completion.
  • Odour.
  • Timing.
  • Accessibility during the construction for both residents and businesses.
  • Local area access, particularly where the project is transitioning from at Grade to the tunnel.

These and other issues all make for a complexity of design criteria that I don’t envy the project engineers having to do. That said, it is their job and I trust their expertise.


To come up with a reference design within 12 months, if achieved, I suggest is an amazing accomplishment.

The more I investigate the various challenges confronting them, many that are contradictory, the more I wonder if it is reasonable to expect they can come up with a design that will work, and which will impact people only minimally.

Time will tell.

Is the North-South Corridor Reference Design getting close, or not?

The Dep’t suggests this is the case. I am not so sure.

I believe they are ignoring important design criteria. Criteria I believe should be addressed now, whilst they appear to believe can be addressed later.

This includes things such as the connectivity with Cross Road and B-Double traffic. It includes addressing local traffic issues, and parking. Likewise, tree and vegetation planting. Importantly it also includes addressing stormwater issues.

Rather than endeavour to unpack why I am nervous about their goal being achieved in this blog post, I will provide another one shorty.