First regional SA projects announced under redesigned Road Safety Program

The recently approved $168 million investment in South Australia under the Australian Government’s Road Safety Program will kick-start a series of safety treatments across the state’s regional roads starting from April.

These projects will improve safety, support regional economic growth and reduce the risk of crashes causing death or serious injuries.

The upgrades will include shoulder sealing, curve widening, safety barrier installation, hazard removal and Audio Tactile Line Marking (ATLM).

Regions covered include the Yorke Peninsula, Murraylands, Mid North, Eyre Peninsula and Fleurieu Peninsula.

The funding includes upgrades for two sections of Upper Yorke Road, between Kulpara and Arthurton (35-kilometre section) and from Port Broughton to Bute (25-kilometre section).

Upper Yorke Road is a key route for heavy vehicles, especially during harvest season, and the proposed upgrades will improve safety for the many truck drivers and residents in the Yorke Peninsula who use this road daily.

There will also be improvement works along RM Williams Way between Jamestown and Spalding, as well as the Mallee Highway between Tailem Bend and Geranium.

This 65-kilometre section of the Mallee Highway is a key transport link between Adelaide, Melbourne and the Murraylands agricultural region.

Works on Upper Yorke Road and RM Williams Way are expected to begin in May while works on the Mallee Highway are set to start next month, with all works to be completed in 2025.

Further SA works to begin in 2024 under the Road Safety Program include:

  • Thiele Highway (Kapunda to Eudunda)
  • Main South Road (Sellicks Beach to Second Valley)
  • Lincoln Highway (Whyalla to Cowell)
  • Lincoln Highway (Cowell to Lipson)
  • Lincoln Highway (Lipson to Tumby Bay)

The program of works will support approximately 305 full-time equivalent jobs over the construction period.

The $168 million investment under the national Road Safety Program is equally funded by the Australian and South Australian governments, each contributing $84 million.

The new Road Safety Program also invests in infrastructure that improves safety of people walking and riding including new crossings, safety upgrades at existing intersections and improvements to strategic walkways.

Quotes attributable to Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Carol Brown:

“Any death on our roads is one too many and that’s why the Australian, state and territory governments are committed to improving road safety, and significantly reducing the number of road deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

“The Road Safety Program is part of our ongoing commitment to this vision by funding works identified by state governments.

“These works will also help us with improving road safety data and program evaluation and we appreciate South Australia’s support on this vital work.

“We’re working closely with the South Australian Government to help reduce fatal and serious road accidents across South Australia.”

Quotes attributable to South Australian Minister for Regional Roads Geoff Brock:

“I’m pleased the first major projects under this investment have been locked in so the South Australian Government can continue to improve our regional road network.

“2023 was a tragic year on regional roads and these upgrades will go a long way to helping reduce the devastating impact of serious and fatal crashes on communities.

“Our freight industry will also benefit from safer, more efficient journeys as the state and federal governments work together to improve key transport corridors throughout regional South Australia.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis:

“This is a tremendous day for our road network! Our roads had undergone significant improvement in recent years but lately the pipeline of works had run dry and more was needed.

“These are crucial roads in need of major improvements – my understanding is that Upper Yorke Road was built in the 1950s and has barely been touched since.

“After years of advocacy, what an exciting day this is for residents, tourists and primary producers who deserve to traverse a safe, productivity-efficient Upper Yorke Road, and I daresay school bus and ambulance users and drivers will also be rejoicing.”

Quotes attributable to Grain Producers SA CEO Brad Perry:

“The announcement of critical funding for Grain Producers SA’s number one Worst Grain Road – Upper Yorke Road Arthurton to Kulpara – is a huge win for safety and productivity.

“Two years of advocacy from GPSA on the Upper Yorke Road, Arthurton to Kulpara, has paid off and we thank South Australian grain producers, the Minister for Regional Roads and Minister for Primary Industries for their efforts in bringing this to fruition.

“The Mallee Highway was also listed in GPSA’s Top 10 Worst Grain Roads as voted by grain producers and we welcome any funding to this important stretch of road that our growers use daily.

“Investment in road upgrades across South Australia’s grain producing regions is vital for ensuring our $4 billion crop can get to port efficiently and safely.”

Quotes attributable to Barunga West Mayor Leonie Kerley:

“The investment for Upper Yorke Road is a significant step for road safety and infrastructure in our region.

“These upgrades are crucial for ensuring our roads are safer and serve as vital links to employment, education, healthcare, essential services and tourism.

“Upper Yorke Road is vitally important in connecting Adelaide to the top of the Yorke and the mid-north region.

“This funding from the Australian and South Australian governments will not only improve public safety, but also boost tourism and economic growth, marking a commitment to reducing road fatalities and enhancing the quality of life for Barunga West residents and all who depend on this infrastructure.”

Quotes attributable to Coorong Mayor Paul Simmons:

“Coorong District Council welcomes this allocation of funding for the Mallee Highway, which is a key freight route that provides direct access to the eastern seaboard.

“This project will improve safety and access outcomes for the Mallee Highway and our rural community.

“We hope the upgrade of this important state grain route will create a seamless interface between local roads and the Mallee Highway.

“Coorong District Council looks forward to working with the Australian and South Australian governments to maximise the best outcomes for this project and our community.”