News, Northern Territory, Road upgrades

All systems go for latest $36.8 million Central Arnhem Road upgrade

A two-lane sealed connection for Central Arnhem Road is one step closer, with work set to begin on sealing an 18-kilometre section in just a few months.

The entire Central Arnhem Road corridor is 645 km long and connects the regional centre of Nhulunbuy to the Stuart Highway. It services a large number of Aboriginal communities and is a key freight route for the mining and pastoral industries.

A $36.8 million construction contract has now been awarded to local Territory business Allan King & Sons Construction; to upgrade an 18km section of the Central Arnhem Road, from the Mountain Valley Station turn-off to the Mainoru homestead turn-off.

These works are expected to begin in September 2024 and be completed by December 2026.

With more than 85 per cent of Central Arnhem Road unsealed, road users experience frequent restrictions or closures throughout the wet season.

Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Joel Bowden says the works will improve connectivity, travel time, flood immunity and importantly road safety.

“The Central Arnhem Road Corridor project provides significant opportunities for economic development in the region as well as Aboriginal employment opportunities over a number of years,” he said.

“The rollout of upgrades on this key corridor are prioritised to make the most immediate difference with survey works and consultation already underway to progress the future packages.”

The works are part of the $355 million Central Arnhem Road Upgrades project, jointly funded by the Northern Territory and Australian Governments, to deliver sealing, reconstructing, widening and flood immunity improvements to the road.

Three sections of the Central Arnhem Road, totalling more than 24km near Beswick, the Goyder approaches and Bulman Airfield have already been completed as part of the Central Arnhem Road Upgrades project.

Planning is also underway for a further five packages to the Central Arnhem Road project.

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