I am told that an underpass is the preferred option because it is cheaper. I don't know how much it would cost to modify our existing 1960s-era overpass to make it safe for electrification, although the new overpass being built at Wayville will apparently cost over $16 million.
I thought it was worth a visit to another underpass to judge for myself what kind of value they represent for my taxpayer dollars.
Here are some pictures of nearby Warradale Station, travelling south from Marion on the Noarlunga line.
The lack of public vigilance makes the tunnels a magnet for anti-social and destructive behaviour such as graffiti, toileting and vandalism. You can attempt to modify property damage by adding mirrors, or installing cameras within the tunnels, but these too are subject to frequent damage due to lack of visibility and isolation.
So if repairing property damage to underpasses requires a constant flow of funds in order to attract sufficient fare paying passengers to keep existing stations open, is it really a good idea to build more of them? Do underpasses present value for money if they are cheap to build but expensive to maintain - or are we just deferring the costs of repairing damaged property until later?
Email me and I'll post your comment.