The much-delayed electrification of a major rail line in Adelaide's north is now set for completion by April but not before another cost blowout to $842 million.
The latest $127 million increase has largely been blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic, including manufacturing shutdowns and issues with bringing highly skilled workers into the state.
After first being announced by the previous Labor government in 2008, Transport Minister Corey Wingard said the Adelaide to Gawler line would now reopen in April after testing and commissioner activities were complete.
"There is no denying this has been a difficult project to deliver but I'm extremely proud to be part of a government that doesn't run away from the hard stuff and gets on with the job of building what matters," Mr Wingard said.
"The rail infrastructure is nearing completion as we access the specialised skills we need for the final stages of commissioning.
"We will then move into the final signalling and electrical testing phases, before undertaking driver training."
Labor's transport spokesman Tom Koustantonis said Mr Wingard should be sacked over the continued delays and cost overruns with the project.
"Sadly, it is not only taxpayers who are suffering the consequences, long-suffering commuters on the Gawler line have been left without a train for more than a year," he said.
But Mr Wingard said the project had been hit "time and time again" with both avoidable and unavoidable setbacks.
"One setback that could have been avoided is if the former Labor government had started this project properly in the first place," he said.
"A ludicrous lack of planning by Labor caused a litany of issues on this project and that was before we were hit with a global pandemic."
Australian Associated Press