State budget 2019-20: $117 million for Horrocks and Barrier highways

RURAL ROADS BOOST: Premier Steven Marshall unveiled a $1.15 billion spend on regional road projects and infrastructure upgrades in the upcoming state budget.
RURAL ROADS BOOST: Premier Steven Marshall unveiled a $1.15 billion spend on regional road projects and infrastructure upgrades in the upcoming state budget.

Regional roads will be a big winner in the state budget, to be handed down on June 18, with the Mid North's Horrocks Highway and Barrier Highway set to receive a combined $117 million.

The Horrocks Highway will gain $55m from a $330m Improving our Roads initiative over eight years while $62.5m will be spent on upgrading the Barrier Highway from Cockburn to Burra as part of Roads of Strategic Importance.

The two highways feature in a list of regional projects totalling more than $1.1 billion, a spend the state government says is the biggest single injection of new funding for country roads in the state's history.

Premier Steven Marshall said the boost for roads was part of their commitment to improve road safety, as well as help build regional communities and create jobs.

"This is the single biggest investment in regional roads in South Australia's history, and a true reflection of the value we place on our regions and saving lives on our roads," he said.

"Regional South Australia is the backbone of our economy and our exports, and I'm confident that this record investment will unlock further economic potential across a range of industries, from agriculture to mining.

"Our commitment, pure and simple, is focused on building productive infrastructure that facilitates growth, productivity and job creation in our regions so that our famers and entire state can flourish."

Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Planning, Stephan Knoll, said the massive investment would underpin regional road upgrades for years. "This massive investment to upgrade regional roads across the state will help save lives on our country roads," he said.

In addition to the two highways, $11m will be spent for increased Dublin Saleyards access and $143m will go towards road upgrades, including additional overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing.

KEY DETAILS:

$330 million for Improving our Regional Roads initiative (over eight years)

$275 million for Roads of Strategic Importance

$237.1 million over four years for regional road maintenance

$1.8 million for regional and remote airstrips

$250 million Princes Highway upgrade

RAA welcomes roads funding

The state's peak motoring body, the RAA, has welcomed the state government's $1.15 billion pledge to improve safety on regional roads as well as boost local economies.

The group has lobbied for an urgent increase in regional road maintenance and has called for upgrades of the Lincoln and Tod highways on the west coast as well the Horrocks Highway in the Mid North.

RAA's senior manager of road safety, Charles Mountain, said the funding boost could now ensure that projects can be delivered.

"RAA welcomes the Marshall government's crucial commitment to regional road investment in this month's state budget,'' he said.

"The investment in overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing is welcomed because these measures significantly improve safety, by providing safe overtaking opportunities and reducing the risk of run-off road crashes due to crumbling road edges.

"And the funding allocation for the Horrocks Highway is important to urgently address the poor road surface and other issues on this critically important corridor.''