Long-promised sealing works are underway on the notorious Strzelecki Track, with the first 50 kilometres now complete and open to traffic.
Further funding was also committed towards the remaining sections of the 472 kilometre Strzelecki Track in last week’s Federal Budget.
The SA Government funded $10 million to seal Stage 1 of the project, the first 50 kilometres, immediately north of Lyndhurst.
The SA and Federal Government will jointly fund the $125 million for Stage 2 (on a 20:80 split).
An additional $64 million for sealing of the Strzelecki Track was announced by the Australian Government in the 2020-21 Federal Budget, which will go towards completely sealing the full length of the track.
“The Strzelecki Track is a vital supply link for major oil and gas facilities located near Moomba and an essential transport corridor for outback communities, tourism and pastoralists,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard.
“Unsealed roads contribute to higher direct freight costs, increased supply chain costs and the likelihood of accidents.
“It is great that local small and medium companies have been able to partner with us to fix this crucial route.
Additional pavement widening and shoulder sealing of the previously-sealed 24 kilometre section now means a total of 74 kilometres of sealed road is open to traffic.
“Each year hundreds of trucks with equipment and supplies for the Santos operated Moomba Gas Plant and surrounding gas fields are sent via the Strzelecki Track,” said Santos Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Kevin Gallagher.
“The conditions of the track can vary widely causing delays and costly maintenance for the operators of the vehicles and damage to the equipment they carry.
“The sealing of the track will ensure one of Australia’s great inland roadways is safer to travel for freight and logistics, tourists and pastoralists. This will increase productivity and trade and bring benefits to all users and communities in the region.”
Pre-construction activities for the next two packages of works, a 10 kilometre section south of Innamincka and a 93 kilometre section south of Moomba to the Strzelecki Creek crossing are underway.
On ground construction is expected to commence in June 2021, weather permitting.