The Northern Territory is set to benefit from the Australian Government’s $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP), with road sealing works on Plenty Highway set to go underway.
Approximately $20 million has been invested by the Australian Government towards the Plenty Highway Upgrading project that includes sealing and flood resilience works along the route - which is part of the 2,800-kilometre Outback Way.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack, this investment through NARP targets high-priority roads that are vital to the movement of freight and people in order to support the development in the North.
“The works will provide flood resilience and reduce the need for vehicle weight restrictions and road closure after heavy rainfall, which will give cattle producers in the area confidence they can transport their cattle to market efficiently,” Mr McCormack said.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said that the upgrade and sealing of almost 20 kilometres of Plenty Highway show the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting the local agricultural industry through investments that improve connectivity and productivity in the region.
“These upgrades will also reduce travel times thanks to an expected increase in average speeds through the upgraded section, while improvements to the road surface will reduce vehicle operating costs and the damage caused to cattle during transport,” Senator Scullion said.
The funding provided towards the Plenty Highway Upgrading project is part of the Australian Government’s $170 million investment for the Outback Way, which enables critical sealing, widening and flood immunity upgrades across roads in the North.
The upgrade on Plenty Highway will include the construction of a two-lane sealed standard road which will provide a wider road surface for passing other vehicles and overtaking, improving safety along the route.
“The works will provide a fully sealed connection between the community at Harts Range to the Stuart Highway and will also be raised to provide greater protection against flooding,” Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Nicole Manison said.
A major milestone has also been reached, with Exact Contracting Pty Ltd named as the preferred builder to deliver the upgrade works on Plenty Highway. The company was awarded a $12.6 million contract for the project.
The $25 million Plenty Highway Upgrading project is funded by the Australian and State Governments on an 80:20 basis, each contributing $20 million and $5 million respectively.
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