The Northern Territory Government is undertaking a long-term planning study to investigate options for improving traffic flow through Heavitree Gap (Ntaripe) in Alice Springs.
Executive Director of Transport Planning, Bruce Michael, said community consultation is now open and the Alice Springs community are invited to contribute ideas and feedback on the development of concept designs for duplicating the Stuart Highway through The Gap.
The Stuart Highway through The Gap is the primary route connecting the north and south of Australia, and traffic modelling has indicated that it will need upgrading to meet future traffic needs.
“The Gap is reasonably narrow and constrained by the road, the National Railway line and the Todd River,” Mr Michael said.
“There are a number of Aboriginal sacred sites, heritage sites, as well as power and water services that are also located in The Gap. It is important to consider all of these factors in the planning process to ensure we get the design right for the long-term future of Alice Springs.”
Engineering consultant SMEC will investigate a long-term infrastructure solution for duplicating the road through The Gap, considerate of all road user needs, cultural values, travel efficiency and aesthetics.
The MacDonnell Ranges and the Todd River are highly valued by the Alice Springs community, and are an icon for Australian tourism. The engineering solutions will aim to complement the natural beauty of the MacDonnell Ranges and the Todd River, and respect the cultural heritage of the area.
“Consultation on this long-term planning project will occur over three stages. Stage one is open now and aims to identify possible design constraints and opportunities,” Mr Michael said.
“Stage two will share possible engineering solutions with the view to identify the preferred design. In stage three, the final concept designs will be shared for information and comment.”
Community input into the planning and design process will build on an extensive evidence base of previous studies and information relevant to Alice Springs and The Gap.