A massive 14-kilometre bridge linking Kangaroo Island to the South Australian mainland has been proposed as a means of boosting the local economy and dramatically enhancing tourism.
Kangaroo Island is home to around 4,400 people, yet it receives an influx of around 190,000 visitors annually, according to the local council’s website.
Yet being located 110-kilometre south-west of Adelaide, the island is only accessible by air or by sea, the latter reportedly taking an hour and a half to make the crossing.
In a bid to improve access for visitors and better connect locals with the mainland, a group called the Universal Bridging Consortium unveiled to local media over the weekend its proposal to construct an elaborate suspension bridge (pictured) linking the island with the mainland.
“The Universal Bridging Consortium (UBC) is pleased to announce the Kangaroo Island Bridge in an exclusive release through the Sunday Mail on Sunday 22nd July 2018,” the group said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“UBC has been working with aspiring young architect Jason Semanic, Lucid Consulting courtesy of CEO Anthony Di Marzo and Lucid Projects senior project manager David Barduca to develop the early planning for the KI Bridge. Thanks for your support to this point gentlemen. Thanks also to the many other SA companies, big and small who have helped develop the proposal to this point.
“This exciting megaproject will generate a very bright future for South Australia, including many new jobs in the bridge planning phase, in the bridge construction phase and once the bridge has been built.”
The move was welcomed by at least one political party, with SA-BEST member Frank Pangallo claiming the bridge would provide for more than just transportation.
“Critically, the bridge’s construction would include key infrastructure to pipe vital fresh water to the island from the mainland, as well as a potential renewable energy component that could take advantage of well-documented tidal energy in the region to supply power to the surrounding communities,” he said.
“Freight costs to and from the island would be significantly reduced providing much-needed financial relief for locals, businesses and the farming sector.”
Media reported that the idea was frowned upon by the island’s mayor. My Business has contacted Business Kangaroo Island – the island’s chamber of commerce – for comment.
The proposal comes just days after it was revealed that tourism in the state hit a new record of $6.7 billion over the past year.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.