Major construction work has started on the Barneson Boulevard project to improve Darwin’s inner-city road network.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, said the final stage of duplication of Tiger Brennan Drive would provide major improvements to traffic flows in Darwin’s CBD.

“Successive governments have invested in the upgrade of Tiger Brennan Drive and this project will see the completion of this important link to the inner city,” Mr McCormack said.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, said the 2018/19 Federal Budget delivered a $75 billion pipeline of infrastructure investment nationwide, including hundreds of millions of dollars for roads across the Northern Territory.

“This pipeline includes $180 million toward upgrading Central Arnhem Road and up to $100 million to improve the Buntine Highway. The Northern Territory will also benefit from the $1.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance—Northern Australia Package and a further commitment of $160 million toward the iconic Outback Way across Queensland, the Territory and Western Australia,” Mr Fletcher said.

“These projects will benefit the Territory in terms of productivity, the economy and road safety, while leveraging off significant investments already underway such as the Barneson Boulevard and Tiger Brennan Drive.”

Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the Barneson Boulevard project was vital to the future development of the CBD.

“Barneson Boulevard has been planned for a long time and will unlock the CBD’s fringes to provide for further growth and investment in the territory’s capital,” Mr Scullion said.

“The new Barneson Boulevard link will also better distribute traffic on CBD roads and provide the community with other options for entering and exiting the CBD—including pathways capable of accommodating pedestrians and cyclists.”

Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Nicole Manison, said the Territory Government is providing $10.8 million towards the project (additional funding has been allocated for landscaping following consultation with the community), while City of Darwin was contributing $5 million.

“As part of the Government’s plan to revitalise the CBD and create jobs for Territorians, the project’s green infrastructure works would create an iconic new entry to Darwin,” Ms Manison said.

“The Government has listened to the people of Darwin’s requests for additional landscaping, enhancements of the amenity aspects for the new entry and preservation and activation of the heritage-listed Frog Hollow Park.

“Barneson Boulevard will have a tropical, urban feel and will support further economic development in the Darwin CBD, including enhancing public spaces.”

Darwin Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis, said the project demonstrated what can be achieved through co-operation between all levels of government.

“Council has worked with the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to realise this new tree-lined entry point to the heart of Darwin,” Mr Vatskalis said.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2020. 

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