Staged reopening of Stuart Highway welcomed by industry

The staged re-opening of the Stuart Highway continues in South Australia following co-ordinated efforts by emergency workers, state and federal governments and the defence force.

Trucks and 4WD vehicles are now able to travel in one direction at a time, with a maximum speed of 20km/h with one lane open.

No significant issues have been reported as yet as repairs to the Marla to Oodnadatta Road progress.

The road is now open to 4wd traffic, with a view to enable heavy vehicle travel in the coming days allowing access into and out of Oodnadatta.

Although receding water remains on some sections of the road, the crucial travel route – reconnecting the vital north-south freight link – has been declared safe for truck use during daylight hours.

Blocks of traffic may be able to proceed one direction at a time with traffic controls and restrictions as required following a pending road condition assessment.

The NHVR has welcomed the partial reopening of a section of the Stuart Highway, which was closed due to significant flooding in Central Australia.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said re-opening of the highway would start to ease the heavy vehicle traffic on alternative routes, being used under NHVR approval.

“It’s another important step for the heavy vehicle industry, government and the Regulator keep the flow of goods and supplies on this north-south route,” said Petroccitto.

“We’ll continue to work with the government and industry to assist in providing appropriate access across flood-impacted areas of Central Australia.”

Heavy vehicle traffic can start moving under strict conditions on the Stuart Highway, north of Glendambo, from tomorrow morning.

The road was declared safe for trucks to use during daylight hours.

The NHVR’s National Class 2 Supplementary Access (Northern Territory Assistance) Authorisation Notice 2022 (No.1) remains in place to provide temporary Class 2 heavy vehicles access for road trains up to 53.5m long to specified routes from South Australia to Queensland via New South Wales, to join the Road Train Type 2 Network through Queensland to Darwin.

The landbridge between South Australia and Western Australia, opened last Thursday also remains in place.

The National Class 3 Supplementary Access (Western Australia Assistance) Exemption Notice 2022 (No.1) is allowing temporary access for Class 3 vehicles that are road trains up to 53.5 metres in length moving from Port Augusta west, via the Eyre Highway and also the Lincoln Highway connecting to the Eyre Highway.

“I would urge all heavy vehicle operators and light vehicle drivers using these routes to be aware of the changed conditions and take extra care,” said Petroccitto.

Despite the re-opening plan being dependent on floodwaters receding as part of an assessment of the road condition, government ministers were confident the road would be open to all traffic under speed restriction – with flow in both directions – by the end of the week.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the Marshall Government is working closely with other agencies, including local councils, to repair and reopen roads.

“We have been working as quickly as possible to rectify the damage caused by our fourth wettest January on record and flash flooding across regional South Australia,” he said.

“Large sections of the state’s sealed and unsealed road network have been impacted, and we are working to prioritise roads for repair and re-opening. Roads that support the transport of essential supplies, commodities and services to the community and industry will be fast-tracked for restoration,” said Winged.

“But we won’t compromise community or industry safety by re-opening roads before they are ready.”

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