Port Wakefield overpass takes shape with installation of bridge beams

A safer, faster and smoother journey through one of South Australia’s busiest and most dangerous regional intersections is a step closer with the Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication project hitting the 60 per cent complete mark.

The structure of the new Port Wakefield Overpass is now in place, following the installation of eight concrete bridge beams, which form the overpass bridge.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the project is another example of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan in action.

“This investment is helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This project is another example of Rowan Ramsey’s determination to deliver for people of this region, to make sure the infrastructure they need and deserve is funded and delivered.”

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard said the project was one of the largest ever undertaken in regional South Australia, supporting an average of 95 full-time equivalent jobs per year during construction.

“This notorious intersection is one of South Australia’s busiest regional road intersections and is commonly known as ‘Crash Corner’ due to the dangerous turn movements and frustrating long queues, especially during holiday peak periods when traffic along the Port Wakefield Highway surges,” Minister Wingard said.

“It’s fantastic to see the overpass structure starting to take form, as it is one of the many success stories of the Marshall Government’s $17.9 billion infrastructure investment across the state.”

The eight precast bridge beams were lifted into place by a 400-tonne crane to form the northern and southern spans of the overpass. Each bridge beam weighs in at 60 tonnes and measures 29.5 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 1.5 metres high.

Works to date on the overpass also include completion of the bridge deck for the northern half of the overpass, which involved 88 cubic metres of concrete being pumped into the formwork over four of the bridge beams to form the span.

The second deck pour, of the southern overpass span, is scheduled to take place at the end of August 2021.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the duplication of the Port Wakefield Highway, south of the township, and the Wakefield River Bridge are more than halfway complete and are both expected to be finished in the first half of 2022.

“Works on the new permanent junction of Balaklava Road and Port Wakefield Highway are also continuing,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Once complete, the overpass will provide one lane in each direction and will improve road safety and bust congestion at the existing intersection of Port Wakefield, Augusta and Copper Coast highways, north of Port Wakefield.

“This route forms a key link between Adelaide, Port Augusta and the Yorke Peninsula along the National Land Transport Network, so by building this overpass we are also improving freight productivity and supporting continued growth for regional South Australia.”

The Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication project is being delivered by the Port Wakefield to Port Augusta Alliance (PW2PA) – a consortium of CPB Contractors, Aurecon and GHD, in alliance with the South Australian Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

The new overpass is expected to be open to traffic by Easter 2022, with the project expected to be complete by the end of 2022, weather permitting.