Hazardous highways in rural South Australia are finally being made a priority for extensive upgrades through funds recently unlocked under the latest $1 billion stimulus package.
Prominent stretches, Stuart, Yorke, Dukes and Riddoch highways, will collectively undergo road repairs and improvements to the tune of $52 million.
The ailing highways make up five significant investments earmarked by the state government and designed to fix roads, improve safety and help save lives.
The "swiftly introduced" plan aims to help protect residents from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic by rolling out 165 jobs.
Port Augusta Major Brett Benbow "welcomes with open arms" the Stuart upgrade which he says includes "dangerous sections".
"If we look back over the past two years, particularly with the amount of fatalities on that stretch of road, it has been shocking," he said.
"This will ensure we get better transit for the traffic for that area. It will be fantastic and lead into our duplication of our bridge."
Mr Benbow added that the major repairs and improvements will help to ease traffic congestion including B-doubles carrying more minerals freight.
Projects to make the state's priority list:
- $52 million for targeted regional road network repair and improvement, including on the Stuart Highway, Yorke Highway, Dukes Highway and Riddoch Highway;
- $35 million to rehabilitate and resurface the South Eastern Freeway between the Tollgate and Crafers;
- $15 million for Heysen Tunnel refit and safety upgrade;
- $12 million for a higher capacity North-South Freight Route by-passing Adelaide; and,
- $6 million to seal Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport Road.
To date, tenders have been released for the $15 million Heysen Tunnel refit and the $6 million Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport Road sealing.
In total, the overall plan makes up $120 million of new infrastructure to be fast-tracked.
This adds to the $21.5 million in construction contracts released last week to upgrade about 200 kilometres of Cleve Road, Eyre Peninsula, and Browns Well Highway in the Murray Mallee.