Federal funding committed for Port Wakefield overpass

UPGRADE: Artist impression of the proposed duplication and overpass at Port Wakefield. Photo: DPTI.
UPGRADE: Artist impression of the proposed duplication and overpass at Port Wakefield. Photo: DPTI.

Car crash corner is soon to become a thing of the past with federal funding announced to ease congestion on the most notorious stretch of Port Wakefield Road.

The $90 million project will include an Augusta Highway overpass and the duplication of Port Wakefield Road, through Port Wakefield.

The federal government will contribute $72 million to the work, with the rest expected to follow in the state budget on Tuesday – a promise made during the Stephen Marshall election campaign.

Premier Stephen Marshall originally committed to $12.1 million to the overpass project, requesting a 50 percent contribution from his federal counterpart upon election.

Business owners in Port Wakefield have long opposed a bypass of the town, but Mr Ramsey said the new project plans announced today would benefit both business and drivers.

“Traffic volumes both to Yorke Peninisula and on the National Highway will continue to increase and this project is long overdue,” he said.

“There are real benefits on offer for local businesses and freight operators, with a significant increase to road network safety and freight efficiency.

“There will also be a collective sigh of relief from parents waving goodbye to their children en route back to Adelaide after home visits on holiday weekends.”

On a normal day the intersection is used by about 3,000 vehicles. During holiday weekends this soars to as many as 10,000.

Traffic jams as long as 10 kilometres can often result as vehicles travelling from Yorke Peninsula attempt to merge with traffic travelling south.

South Australian Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said both locals and visitors to the area were sick of congestion and associated delays in Port Wakefield, particularly during peak holiday periods.

“High traffic volumes and conflicting traffic flows are a big issue in the Port Wakefield area and for the broader Yorke Peninsula as well, so it is pleasing to have the Australian Government on board to deliver a solution via this upgrade,” Mr Knoll said.

“We expect this will, in turn, support the continued development of tourism by improving road access through to the beautiful Yorke Peninsula,” Mr Knoll said.

According to the state government, the design phase will begin immediately with completion projected for 2022.