The $14.6 million Penola Northern Bypass will open to traffic today delivering significantly reduced heavy vehicle traffic through the Penola Township, reduced travel time and a boost to South Australia’s economy.

The Northern Bypass construction has been jointly funded with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government contributing $11.7 million and the South Australian Government providing the remaining $2.9 million. Wattle Range Council also contributed, funding the property acquisition requirements for the bypass.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the purpose of the Penola Bypass is to significantly reduce heavy vehicle traffic volumes through the Penola Township, reducing conflict between heavy vehicles, pedestrians and local traffic within Penola.

“Today marks the completion of a project that has been 50 years or more in the making. To finally have the works completed is a huge relief considering what the community went through under the previous State Labor Government, who refused to accept the Federal Funding I fought so hard to secure,” Mr Pasin said.

“The completion of this project highlights the importance of being able to work with a cooperative State Government that understands that the regions matter. This project has been a great example of Liberal and Coalition Governments working together to achieve positive outcomes for the residents of the Limestone Coast.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the completed Penola Northern Bypass is a continuation of the Penola Southern Bypass and caters for commercial vehicles travelling on the Robe to Clay Wells Road and the Riddoch Highway.

“The Penola Northern Bypass will improve freight efficiencies supporting the Limestone Coast’s highly productive economy,” Mr McCormack said.

“It supported around 47 full time equivalent jobs and will deliver clear benefits to all road users in the region by reducing travel times and helping people reach their destinations sooner and safer.

“This important project forms part of the Federal Government’s record $100 billion infrastructure plan which will be essential in boosting job growth and helping the economy bounce back in the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the Penola Bypass is a critical piece of infrastructure for the Limestone Coast.

“The Marshall Liberal Government understands how important regional roads and infrastructure are for the future prosperity of our state,” said Minister Knoll.

“We are backing our regions and are delivering a host of measures to improve infrastructure such as the Penola Bypass to help grow regional economies and support regional jobs.”

State Member for MacKillop Nick McBride said he was proud to be part of a Government that has been committed to see this bypass finished – and ahead of time.

“This is a fantastic day for our community,” said Mr McBride.

“With the Northern and the Southern section of the bypass now completed, the so-called “road to nowhere” is no more. Vehicles will now have the option to bypass the township, reducing the number of heavy vehicles passing through Penola.”

“This will improve safety for local residents and businesses and enable them to concentrate on growing their town as an important tourism and commercial destination.”

The Penola Bypass will have a posted speed of 60km/h to enable driver familiarisation, and to enable remaining works to continue safely, with full completion expected mid-2020, weather permitting.
The final posted speed limit of 100km/h is expected to be in place by the end of April, weather permitting.

Other speed limits may apply in the immediate vicinity of works, and road users are asked to use extra caution when workers are on site, follow the direction of traffic management and observe traffic signage and speed limits when travelling through the area.

The project includes:

  • Construction of a new 2.2 kilometre undivided, sealed rural arterial road with sealed shoulders.
  • Construction of a T-junction at the Riddoch Highway (Church Street) where the new Northern Bypass will connect to the Highway to the north of the Penola township.
  • Upgrade of the junction at the Penola Bypass and the Robe to Clay Wells Road (where the Northern Bypass and Southern Bypass meet) to a staggered T-junction.
  • Realignment of the Riddoch Highway (Church Street) T-junction with the existing Southern Bypass to the south of the Penola Township to make the Bypass the through road.
  • Road LED lighting at the three junctions and drainage infrastructure.