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1 August 2018

David McLeod, Associate

The Torrens Road to Torrens River South Road upgrade is nearing an early completion with Grieve Gillett Andersen providing the Urban Design services, as part of the T2T Alliance. 


The Alliance brings together design, construction and government within a single team to efficiently deliver the project.

As the project nears completion, the urban design elements in the development are taking shape. The project has duplicated South Rd, pushing a non-stop section below Torrens Road, Hawker Street, The Outer Harbour Rail Line, Port Road and Grange Road. The surface road has been replicated either side of the cutting to maintain local traffic access.

Anyone who has driven through the area in the past year will be familiar with the concrete noise walls which were erected early in the process to define the project boundary, and protect residents from construction noise as well as future traffic noise. We developed the patterning on the walls to reflect the swaying grasslands and trees that were the original features of the Adelaide Plains. Seen familiarly in our suburban fences and garages, the colour of the walls were chosen to recede rather than dominate the roadway, and will eventually disappear when the vegetation starts to grow in front, while also facilitate graffiti management. 

The vertical pattern of the noise walls is complemented by a horizontal pattern on the lowered motorway walls, which is reminiscent of the sedimentary layers of the cut earth that is now covered in structural concrete. The pattern was developed to be viewed at speed, and paint colour will highlight some of these layers in long horizontal bands, which will increase in density as drivers pass below the bridges.

The bridges have been treated as sign posts along the lowered motorway and each has a unique character to assist in intuitive wayfinding for motorway users. The posts fixed to the bridge parapets, break up the strong horizon line at the top of the cutting, as well as create a defined space and celebration of crossing the lowered road for users of the perpendicular surface roads. Due to the intensity of hidden services and retaining walls of the cutting, in lieu of being able to plant trees, the posts provide a visual relief and sculptural frame to alleviate the large expanses of paving at big intersections, such as Port Road. 

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