The Federal Government has announced a $40 million funding boost for upgrades to the Horrocks Highway in South Australia to improve the key freight route’s safety, bringing the project’s total funding to $105 million.
This brings the Federal Government’s total investment for the now $105 million project to $84 million, in an 80:20 split with the State Government.
The project aims to improve the safety of Horrocks Highway for local primary producers, and enhance the driver experience for tourists heading to the Mid North and Clare Valley.
The additional funding will widen and strengthen bridges at Wakefield River, Hutt River and Rocky River, upgrade local road junctions, deliver shoulder sealing and curve widening, install safety barriers and Audio Tactile Line Marking, and provide overtaking lane extensions at Tarlee and Templers.
This builds on the package of works already underway on the corridor, including installing new overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing along priority sections between Clare and Auburn and south of Giles Corner, improvements to the Gladstone level crossing, and the replacement of a bridge and a culvert north of Melrose.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government is delivering the infrastructure South Australia needs and deserves.
“This package of works along the Horrocks Highway will boost safety, community connections and freight efficiency along this key route,” Mr Joyce said.
“Not only will this have a significant impact for communities and businesses well into the future, it will also support 135 jobs during construction to provide a much-needed short-term economic boost.
“Safer and more efficient highways mean freight can be moved to international and domestic buyers more quickly and tourists can reach their destination sooner, ensuring these important sectors continue to drive our economy.”
Finance Minister and Senator for South Australia, Simon Birmingham, said the project would improve safety and ride quality for motorists while increasing accessibility for local freight networks.
“The Horrocks Highway is a vital rural route in South Australia, and is a major gateway connecting primary producers and tourists alike from the Clare Valley to the Mid North of our state,” Mr Birmingham said.
Upgrading this route will also improve access for the state’s primary producers and local businesses to domestic and international markets, ensuring the delivery of their local produce.
South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the state and federal governments were finally delivering the necessary upgrades to the Horrocks Highway.
“This additional funding for works on the Horrocks Highway is another major win for motorists in the Mid North and Clare Valley and is part of our plan to build a stronger future for our state,” Mr Wingard said.
The State and Federal Governments have invested a total of $2.8 billion into the improvement of South Australia’s country roads, a record amount.
Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said securing this additional funding was a big win for the thousands of local residents and businesses who rely on this key route.
“The works promised before the last election started at Wilmington at the northern end of the highway and worked their way down now, to south of Auburn and the improvement is dramatic,” Mr Ramsey said.
“This latest investment will push the works further south improving the “Horrocks” for all, but particularly making it friendlier for the wine and tourism trade coming up from Adelaide.
“The state of our roads, overtime, has probably been the most consistent issue people have raised with me and that is why it is so satisfying to be able to say that government investment in the network is at unprecedented levels.”
Through combined state and federal government funding, more than $1 billion is either committed, underway or completed for roadworks in Grey, including on the Horrocks Highway.
Since 2013-14, the Federal Government has committed over $12.9 billion towards infrastructure projects in South Australia. This includes $59 million for the South Australian section of the Port Augusta to Perth corridor upgrade, and $160 million toward the Joy Baluch AM Bridge duplication.