The first fully completed section of the newly duplicated Augusta Highway is now open.
All four lanes of the nine-kilometre stretch between Port Wakefield and Beaufort are now open to traffic, with two new northbound lanes and two refurbished southbound lanes.
Traffic was previously diverted onto the new duplicated carriageway in each direction earlier this year to enable reconstruction work on the existing two-lane highway to occur – aimed at future-proofing the major freight route by improving steep climbs and ensuring the existing road tied in with the new carriageway.
With these works completed, both sides of the highway – dual, two-lane carriageways between the Port Wakefield Overpass and Beaufort Road – are open.
“This vital upgrade is one of several sections to be improved, which will improve safety, freight productivity and network reliability while also reducing travel times,” said Senator for South Australia Karen Grogan.
More than 300 metres of guardrails have been installed along this key section, in addition to 12 new light poles to increase driver visibility at night.
During construction, 25 stormwater crossings and three culverts were also built underneath the highway to help prevent flooding after a rain event.
While all lanes are now open, some traffic restrictions will still be required while line marking and signage are installed.
The Augusta Highway is the key road corridor between Port Wakefield and Port Augusta and forms part of the National Land Transport Network, providing crucial connectivity to regional South Australia and interstate.
The Augusta Highway Duplication project is part of the $450 million Princes Highway corridor package, jointly funded by the Australian and South Australian governments, on an 80:20 basis.
Once complete, the project will provide dual, two-lane carriageways along a 28 kilometre stretch of the Augusta Highway from Port Wakefield to Lochiel. It is due to finished in 2024.
“This corridor provides crucial connectivity to regional South Australia and interstate and I look forward to seeing the entire duplication project being completed in 2024,” added South Australian Minister for Regional Roads Geoff Brock.
“I urge every South Australian to head into the new year safely by sticking to the speed limits, driving to the conditions, being patient and taking regular breaks.”