Multiple contracts have been awarded as the Australian and Northern Territory governments are set to deliver major upgrades across the Carpentaria Highway. 

The $150 million program of work is jointly funded on an 80:20 basis and will be delivered in two separate stages over two years.

A design and construct tender has been awarded to Exact Contracting for $67 million for stage one. 

Stage one will include the first 48km of the Carpentaria Highway and is expected to be completed by April 2023.

Stage two will see upgrades from chainage 50km to chainage 140km.

Upgrades will include creating a two-lane sealed road with a raised formation to improve flood immunity and constructing culverts to improve cross drainage where required.

The works are anticipated to support 135 jobs, with an Indigenous Employer and Supplier Use target of 29 per cent.

The upgrades to the Carpentaria Highway complement multiple strategic projects currently underway that aim to bring the Territory’s vision to become a world-class gas production, manufacturing and services hub to reality.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King, said 2020 showed “Just how important it is to upgrade key freight and transport routes to deal with increased flooding and severe weather events.

“These upgrades will include creating a two-lane sealed road with a raised formation to improve flood immunity and constructing culverts to improve cross drainage where required.

“We know how important good roads are to the Northern Territory. That’s why we are investing in key freight roads and access roads for remote communities across the Territory.”

Northern Territory Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Minister, Eva Lawler, said completing the vital road works will ensure the Territory stays connected and keeps businesses moving forward. 

“The Carpentaria Highway is a key access road to Borroloola and surrounding regions, and an important service route for the pastoral, tourism, agricultural and mining sectors, including to the Beetaloo Sub-Basin,” Ms Lawler said. 

“Upgrading Carpentaria Highway will involve sealing, reconstruction, widening and elevating the road alignment to increase flood immunity, meaning this important route will have improved accessibility throughout the year, improving access to health services and economic opportunities.

Federal Member for Lingiari, Marion Scrymgour, said the project will benefit a myriad of people and infrastructure. 

“These upgrades are expected to deliver many benefits, including more efficient and reliable roads, improved freight productivity and access to freight gateways, and safer roads in line with Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan,” Ms Scrymgour said. 

“The works will also better connect Territorians with jobs and services, and goods with markets, while also bolstering flood immunity, reducing annual road closures.

“Crucially, Indigenous territories will benefit from improved access to health and social services for remote and Indigenous communities, while the project will also increase Aboriginal employment and business supplier use.”

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