Ngarkat Highway upgrades to commence later this month

UPGRADE: Upgrades to the Ngarkat Highway will finally commence later this month.
UPGRADE: Upgrades to the Ngarkat Highway will finally commence later this month.

The Australian and South Australian Governments' $143 million 'Rural Roads Package - Safety Package' will deliver significant safety upgrades for some South East roads.

In total, $70 million from the $143 million package will target safety improvements on more than 423 kilometres of country roads.

For the Tatiara, residents will be pleased to hear that upgrades to the Ngarkat Highway will finally commence later this month.

The road, which stretches from Bordertown to Pinnaroo, has long been the topic of discussion among locals, as many believe the road is unsafe for trucks and cars alike.

Travellers are still forced to drive at 100km/h, but the new upgrades are likely to see the residents regain the ability to drive at 110km/h.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the safety upgrades will allow for the safe reinstatement of the faster speed limit.

Only Carpenter Rocks Road (Carpenter Rocks to Mt Gambier), Goyder Highway (Crystal Brook to Gulnare), and Andamooka Road (Andamooka to Olympic Dam) have seen speed limit increases at this stage.

SA Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the remaining five state roads, including the Ngarkat Highway, will likely see speed limit increases in the near future.

"We promised to improve the safety of these roads and re-introduce the 110km/h speed limits and that's exactly what we're doing," Minister Wingard said.

"These are the first three of eight roads we're going to lift the speed limit on and work is progressing well on the other five."

Many of the roads to receive upgrades will see improvements to shoulder sealing, audio tactile line marking and the installation of safety barriers.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the improvements would make travelling in regional South Australia safer and more efficient.

"These works, which target critical areas of the regional and rural South Australian road transport network, are part of our commitment to ensure the safety of regional South Australians on our state's roads," Mr Pasin said.

Cleve Road (Cleve to Kimba), Riddoch Highway (Mt Gambier to Port MacDonnell), Browns Well Highway (Loxton to Pinnaroo), and Clay Wells Road (Southern Ports Highway to Callendale) are the remaining roads to receive upgrades under the 'Rural Roads Package - Safety Package'.

All works, including the final speed limit increase, are expected to be finished by April 2021.