The construction tender for the first works package on the Adelaide River Flood Plains Upgrade Project has been released, promising wet season access to Kakadu National Park.

The project will deliver significant upgrades to 6.5km of the Arnhem Highway at the Adelaide River Flood Plains to improve flood immunity and safety for road users.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the project was planning for the future of the Northern Territory.

“Across Australia we are investing to make sure people can get home to their families sooner and safer, along with providing a major boost to productivity,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Adelaide River Flood Plains upgrade is another critical part of improving our roads, no matter where you live.”

Acting Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Nicole Manison, welcomed the tender release, and said the upgrade project is key to ensuring year-round access, and continuity of business for producers and tourism to the Kakadu National Park area.

“The Adelaide River Flood Plains upgrade project is a significant investment for the region, securing future economic development for the East Arnhem region, while creating jobs for Territorians,” Minister Manison said.

“The Arnhem Highway is a major transport link connecting Darwin and Kakadu National Park – a major tourist attraction to the Northern Territory, and the service centre of Jabiru. It also connects local primary producers and industry to Darwin, facilitating the export of key resources and produce to Darwin and beyond.”

Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the Arnhem Highway was often closed due to flooding of the Adelaide River.

“This can cause extensive delays of up to 10 days at a time, affecting the economic viability of tourism and other key industries in the area and much inconvenience for residents and travellers,” Senator Scullion said.

“These developments will improve flood immunity at the Adelaide River floodplain, as well as increase route reliability and accessibility, while reducing the frequency of road closures throughout the wet season.”

The upgraded section of the highway will be built next to the existing road alignment, and will include:  

  • Raising the height of the road by 1.3m above the existing road level
  • 13 bridge structures along the new 6.5km new alignment

The works are jointly funded by the Federal Liberal and Nationals’ Government ($62.3 million) and the Northern Territory Government ($15.58 million), and will be tendered in two stages.

The first stage of earth works was released on 14 December 2018, and the second tender for the manufacture and installation of the bridges work is scheduled for release in January 2019.

During construction, there will be minimal impact to road users as the existing carriageway will remain open as per normal.

Construction works are expected to commence in the first half of 2019 and be completed by late 2020.

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