Yorkeys Crossing issue continues

Just two weeks after labelling Yorkeys Crossing as operational at an "all weather level", a government department has confirmed three closures of the road this year as a result of heavy rain.

Yorkeys Crossing was once again closed last week, fuelling the argument that it is not a reliable alternative route for traffic flowing through Port Augusta.

Port Augusta experienced a cool change on Tuesday last week, with heavy rain causing a 23-hour closure of Yorkeys Crossing to all traffic from around 10am on Tuesday until 9am on Wednesday.

During these times Port Augusta recorded 23.4mm of rain.

Yorkeys Crossing was also closed for three days in early April after 84mm of rain, and in February for two days after 38mm of rain.

Since May 2013, Yorkeys Crossing has been closed on eight separate occasions, for a total of 16 days.

The heavy bypass route has been the focus of much criticism in recent weeks, with the promise of a wet winter fuelling concerns about the safety and accessibility of the only alternative route to the Joy Baulch AM bridge.

Following an incident in early April, the department said it was worth noting that Yorkeys Crossing "operates at an all-weather level".

But only at a certain level, of course.

A spokesperson for the department said the rainfall amount which closes Yorkeys Crossing is dependent on how the rain falls and when the last rainfall occurred.

"If it has been dry for quite some time it can take 25mm before it will close, however if it is a heavy downpour then less rain will close the road," the spokesperson said.

"If there has been recent rain then a follow up rain within a week or two may only take 15mm of rain to close the road."

While the data suggests extended closures of the bypass are not common, it remains a cause of concern for Port Augusta residents with the cooler winter months looming, bound to bring with them some bouts of heavy rain.

The department confirmed there are no immediate plans to seal the Yorkeys Crossing, however they will continue to monitor the flow of traffic in Port Augusta.

TRAFFIC: Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson has been campaigning to seal Yorkeys Crossing for a long time.

TRAFFIC: Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson has been campaigning to seal Yorkeys Crossing for a long time.