Olympic Dam Highway repair works underway

Work has begun to repair the Olympic Dam Highway, as part of a program of works that aim to boost the resilience of South Australia’s flood damaged outback roads and highways.

The recovery works are being rolled out following intense rain and subsequent flooding in early 2022 in the state’s far north and outback.

The program will repair flood damaged road infrastructure, to help restore national and state supply chains, and reconnect remote and regional communities and industries to pre-disaster conditions.

“These floods exposed how delicate the supply chain is into some of our regional and remote communities, and this funding will ensure we can strengthen the essential infrastructure and improve the outcomes for these communities, should they experience similar flooding events in the future,” said Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt.

The ‘Targeted Investments to Improve National Supply Chain Resilience’ works are jointly funded, with $60 million coming from the Australian Government and $15 million from the South Australian Government.

“In late January and early February of 2022, torrential rain and subsequent flooding in the northern and western areas of South Australia caused extensive damage to the road network,” said State Minister for Regional Roads Geoff Brock.

“This widespread damage meant that extensive road closures were required across the region.

“The SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport and its contractors worked together under difficult conditions to quickly reopen the National Land Transport Network, key rural arterials and outback roads, restoring the vital movement of essential supplies across the nation.

“However, more permanent repairs and reconstruction works are still required to increase the strength and resilience of the road network for future flooding events.”

The work will initially include the construction of a detour road, followed by the installation of improved drainage structures and scour protection, new road surfacing, line marking and safety barrier.

Works are already kicking along on the reinstatement of scoured material, new pavement surface and safety barriers on the Stuart Highway at Woocalla Creek, with final sealing and finishing works expected to be undertaken later this month.

Design works are continuing on the remainder of repairs and upgrades forming part of the program, which include:

  • Stuart Highway, Lake Windabout – installation of additional drainage, raising the existing road level, scour protection and installation of safety barrier.
  • Stuart Highway, Glendambo – installation of additional drainage, raising the existing road level and scour protection.
  • Eyre Highway, approximately 25 kilometres west of Kimba – installation of additional drainage, raising the existing road level and scour protection.
  • Outback Highway – raising the level of existing road alignment and pavement conditioning to enable it to withstand future flooding events.

Tenders for the construction of each upgrade are expected to be released in mid-to-late-2023, subject to design works.

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