The first-stage of the $12 million commitment by the Federal and South Australian governments to deliver a higher-capacity North-South Freight Route is expected to start within weeks, having been fast-tracked as part of a joint stimulus package to bust congestion, improve safety and boost jobs for South Australia.


The 39 kilometres of shoulder sealing works between the Sturt Highway and Murray Bridge will be undertaken by PD Excavations Pty Ltd to improve safety along the route.


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s injection of $9.6 million to deliver the project would improve productivity and remove speed restrictions along the corridor between Murray Bridge and Annandale, bypassing Adelaide.


“We have worked closely with the State Government to fast track this critical project, which will see shovels hitting the ground to undertake various upgrades along the route via Ridley Road and Halfway House Road, improving efficiency and network reliability and getting money flowing back into jobs and businesses as soon as possible,” Mr McCormack said.


“We are continuing to roll out this type of major project nationwide under our $100 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, which is supporting jobs and communities when and where they are needed.” South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the works would get heavy vehicles off the South Eastern Freeway, easing congestion and making the road safer.


“We are committed to investing in regional road projects and infrastructure upgrades to improve road safety, as well as helping build regional communities and create jobs at a time when we need them most,” Mr Wingard said. “The works will also allow for greater access to processing plants such as the new Thomas Foods International abattoirs to be built near Murray Bridge.”


Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said in addition to shoulder sealing, the works undertaken at Halfway House Road, Ridley Road and Mannum Road also included drainage improvements and the installation of audio-tactile edge lines.


“The second stage of works will include bridge widening between Sedan and Murray Bridge and is expected to start next year,” Mr Pasin said.


“This vital infrastructure investment is part of our Government’s plan to provide an immediate boost for the local economy, get people into jobs and keep our industries moving so that we can rebuild stronger, faster.” Construction will start in October 2020 and completion is expected in December 2021. The project is jointly funded with the Australian Government committing $9.6 million and the South Australian Government $2.4 million.


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