The Augusta Highway Duplication Project, one of the largest infrastructure projects ever to be undertaken in regional South Australia, is underway – with major works beginning on the $260 million initiative.
The project is jointly funded by the Federal and South Australian governments on an 80:20 basis, and the Port Wakefield to Port Augusta (PW2PA) Alliance will be delivering the initiative.
The works will see the highway duplicated between just north of the new Copper Coast Overpass and Lochiel to reduce travel time, improve safety and increase freight productivity.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government was investing in the infrastructure South Australians need.
“The Augusta Highway duplication project is an investment in regional South Australia that will drive this region into the future,” Mr Joyce said.
“Once completed, the duplicated highway will ensure faster, safer travel for families and freight, while boosting economic growth and supporting around 330 jobs during construction.”
South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall, said the vital project forms part of the State Government’s $17.9 billion infrastructure spend rolling out across the state.
“We’re building what matters for South Australians and that includes investing heavily in our regional roads,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a vital project that will drastically improve safety, but also support hundreds of jobs for the state and specifically the local region.
“South Australia has the fastest growing economy in the country and our unemployment rate is at its lowest level ever; it is projects like this one helping get people into jobs.”
South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the Augusta Highway is a key road corridor that forms part of the National Land Transport Network.
“The project will result in the Augusta Highway corridor being fully duplicated from Adelaide through to Lochiel,” Mr Wingard said.
“We know this is a popular route for holidaymakers and travellers heading out to and from the north of the state, which can lead to high traffic volumes on holidays such as long weekends.
“That’s why we’re getting on with delivering this project, which will provide dual, two-lane carriageways along 28km of the Augusta Highway, from the new, now operational Copper Coast Overpass to Lochiel, along with appropriate intersection and junction treatments along this section.”
Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsay, said the duplication of the Augusta Highway recognised the huge part northern South Australia has to play in the future of the state.
“Around 85 per cent of the Grey electorate’s population use this road regularly and with traffic loads increasing all the time they are eager for this work to commence,” Mr Ramsey said.
“The Morrison Government is spending $110 billion Australia-wide, dragging the nation’s transport network into the twenty-first century.
“Already in Grey we have committed to spending more than a billion dollars and there will be more to come. Having the like-minded Marshall Government in place to partner with us has made an enormous difference. Together we are getting on with the job.”
Works will initially start just north of the new Copper Coast Overpass and move progressively along the highway. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.
In addition to the works to duplicate the Augusta Highway between Port Wakefield and Lochiel, planning for future duplication between Port Pirie and Crystal Brook is currently underway to inform future funding discussions between the Federal and South Australian governments.