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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Road funding to… fix it real good

The Upper Yorke Road is set to undergo significant upgrades, with two sections—Kulpara to Arthurton and Bute to Port Broughton—being prioritized as the inaugural projects of the $168 million Road Safety Program for regional roads in the state. These enhancements aim to elevate both stretches to a minimum three-star safety rating and will encompass various improvements such as shoulder sealing, shape correction for smoother surfaces, installation of audio tactile line markings, delineation, and removal of hazards and barriers. Additionally, the Kulpara to Arthurton section will see widened lanes.

Geoff Brock, the Regional Roads Minister, announced that construction is scheduled to commence in May, with completion anticipated by mid-2025. The Kulpara to Arthurton project is expected to generate 135 jobs, while the Bute to Port Broughton project will create 20 employment opportunities. This funding supplements the $600,000 allocated earlier in March for targeted patching works on the Bute to Port Broughton segment, slated for completion in the coming weeks.

Other key projects under the Road Safety Program include upgrades to the Thiele Highway between Kapunda and Eudunda, Main South Road from Sellicks Beach to Second Valley, and three segments of the Lincoln Highway between Whyalla and Tumby Bay.

Sam Colliver, operator of Sunny Hill Distillery and a vocal advocate for improvements to the Kulpara to Arthurton section, expressed appreciation for the funding. He hopes that the enhanced road infrastructure will attract more tourists to the Sunnyvale area, as currently, many avoid revisiting due to the road conditions, especially when towing caravans.

Simon Westbrook, a farmer from Sunnyvale, echoed Colliver’s sentiments, emphasizing the anticipated benefits for local producers in terms of time saved and reduced vehicle wear and tear. He highlighted the current challenges of navigating the narrow road, particularly during harvest, underscoring its reputation as the most problematic section of the journey from home to Melbourne.

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