Baker Road ford upgrade

The Baker Road ford on the edge of Lewiston will receive much needed improvements following news of state government road safety funding last month.

Member for Taylor, Leesa Vlahos, who has been campaigning for the past couple of years to improve the crossing, welcomed the announcement, saying the $278,000 will be spent on improving the approach sight distance and road formation width to the floodway, upgrading culverts, signage and delineation.

The funding comes from the $16 million invested from the State Black Spot Program, Responsive Road Safety Program and Shoulder Sealing Program.

Mrs Vlahos said the announcement was a major victory for motorists in the electorate.

“It is quite obvious to anybody that travels near Virginia and Lewiston that the ford needed an upgrade,” she said.

“The frequent closures was costing families and local businesses time and money.

“For over more than a year, I have been working with the community to put the pressure on Playford Council to prioritise the crossing.

“Mayor Glen Docherty was using the State Black Spot program as an excuse, but now there is nowhere to hide.

“In contrast, Mallala Council has been far more supportive.”

In late June casino last year, Mrs Vlahos joined local residents Renata Conti and Gianna Russo to organise a petition with 634 signatories calling on the City of Playford to fund half the cost of upgrading the crossing.

As a local horticulturalist and owner of Adelaide Hydro Fresh, Mrs Russo said that improving the crossing will help local businesses.

“My husband Angelo moves our machinery between Virginia and Two Wells and we try to use the crossing as much as possible,” Mrs Russo said.

“Upgrading the crossing will help minimise the impact on moving heavy machinery and assists in reducing travel time and business costs.”

Work is expected to start at the beginning of 2015, subject to final design assessments.

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