New bridges over Roper and Wilton Rivers complete

  • New Roper and Wilton crossings were funded under Regional Roads Productivity Package
  • Works included two new bridges and approximately seven kilometres of approach works
  • Greater flood immunity will better connect remote Indigenous communities

Flood immunity works on the Roper Highway in the Northern Territory are now complete, with two new bridges open to traffic at the remote Wilton and Roper river crossings.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the $50 million project would provide a critical link between the Stuart Highway and Indigenous communities, including Ngukurr, Rittarangu and Numbulwar.

“These new crossings are part of our plan to build better roads to improve the access, safety and reliability of our freight corridors,” Mr McCormack said.

Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Nicole Manison said improved flood immunity would increase road reliability, helping to connect remote Indigenous communities to essential services.

“Works included a new 7.3-kilometre two-lane sealed road on the Roper Highway and construction of two new high level bridges at Roper and Wilton rivers,” Ms Manison said.

Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the upgrade was one of six to be funded under the $90 million Northern Territory Regional Roads Package.

“During the wet season, the old low-level crossings were prone to flooding, making the area impassable for months at a time on occasion,” Senator Scullion said.

Northern Territory Member for Arnhem Selenda Uibo said the construction of the major crossings provided jobs for more than 500 people who were inducted onsite, with 79 of those being indigenous employees.

“The project engaged more than 50 local subcontractors, while local community involvement included a site visit by students from Ngukurr School who painted a mural on the bridge,” Ms Uibo said.

Construction on the two crossings started in April 2016 and was completed late last year. The Australian Government committed $42.5 million to the $50.5 million project in partnership with the Northern Territory Government.