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Staged reopening of key freight route underway

The NHVR has welcomed the partial reopening a section of the Stuart Highway, which was closed due to significant flooding in Central Australia.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said reopening of the highway would start to ease the heavy vehicle traffic on alternative routes, being used under NHVR approval.

“It’s another important step for the heavy vehicle industry, government and the Regulator keep the flow of goods and supplies on this north-south route,” Petroccitto said.

“We’ll continue to work with the government and industry to assist in providing appropriate access across flood-impacted areas of Central Australia.”

Heavy vehicle traffic started moving under strict conditions on the Stuart Highway, north of Glendambo, from yesterday morning. The road was declared safe for trucks to use during daylight hours.

In a note to its members at the weekend, the South Australian Road Transport Association reminded operators that restrictions on the highway will continue until the road is fully repaired and safe resumption of normal operations is possible.

“The main culprit in the slow reduction in water levels has been the main culvert in the township; nothing to do with the road culverts,” SARTA said.

“The ABC rig bogged on that stretch will NOT be removed until the road surface has dried out enough to minimise further damage.

“SO CAUTION MUST BE EXERCISED.”

Meanwhile, the regulator’s National Class 2 Supplementary Access (Northern Territory Assistance) Authorisation Notice 2022 (No.1) remains in place to provide temporary Class 2 heavy vehicles access for road trains up to 53.5m long to specified routes from South Australia to Queensland via New South Wales, to join the Road Train Type 2 Network through Queensland to Darwin.

The landbridge between South Australia and Western Australia, opened last Thursday also remains in place. The National Class 3 Supplementary Access (Western Australia Assistance) Exemption Notice 2022 (No.1) is allowing temporary access for Class 3 vehicles that are road trains up to 53.5 metres in length moving from Port Augusta west, via the Eyre Highway and also the Lincoln Highway connecting to the Eyre Highway.

“I would urge all heavy vehicle operators and light vehicle drivers using these routes to be aware of the changed conditions and take extra care,” Petroccitto added.

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