21/12/2021

Holiday traffic delays and congestion headaches are edging closer to becoming a thing of the past with the completion of a crucial part of the Port Wakefield Overpass that opens to motorists tomorrow, marking a huge milestone in the $124.5 million project.

Holidaymakers and local motorists will be able to experience safer and smoother journeys on the Port Wakefield Overpass in a huge boost to road safety that has been delivered just days before Christmas – and the annual Yorke Peninsula pilgrimage undertaken by thousands of South Australians.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication Project is another example of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan in action.

“Our investment in this project is helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The completion of this significant project will make the lives of the thousands of motorists who use this route each day easier, safer and more efficient, helping them get to where they need to be, when they need to be there.

“The timing of completion is fantastic, just days out from Christmas. It’s an early Christmas present from the Australian and South Australian governments to the people of South Australia. We’ll continue to deliver the infrastructure South Australians need.”

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the completion of the overpass is another crucial election promise ticked off the Liberal Government list.

“We came into Government with a vision and here we are today delivering a promise – made from tonnes of concrete and steel – that makes it easier and safer for South Australians to travel around our state,” the Premier said.

“We know Port Wakefield Highway typically caters to nearly 9,000 vehicles per day through the town of Port Wakefield – and that number can double during holiday peak periods.

“This overpass is going to make a significant difference in the lives of so many people and is a prime example of how we continue to build what matters for South Australians.

“This crucial project forms part of our record $17.9 billion infrastructure spend in South Australia which is creating an abundance of jobs and fuelling our economy as we continue to rebound from COVID-19.

“This build alone is supporting 95 full time jobs each year during construction.”

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication Project is due to be fully completed by the end of 2022.

“For years this intersection, known as crash corner, has caused massive headaches and delays for thousands of motorists – especially during holiday periods,” Minister Wingard said.

“The project is improving traffic flow and reducing congestion for all road users through the township of Port Wakefield. It removes all hazardous at-grade turn movements at the intersection of the Port Wakefield Highway, Copper Coast Highway and Augusta Highway, which we know has always been an issue.

“True to form, the previous Labor government ignored the people of Port Wakefield and the hundreds of thousands of motorists who travel through the township every year.

“Labor didn’t care enough to fix the issue, but we are proud to deliver this latest milestone and declare crash corner is no more.”

Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said: "This is a wonderful day marking the end of Crash Corner and when works are complete, the end of the Easter and January traffic jams at the gateway to Yorke Peninsula.”

"While there are works still underway the opening of the overpass marks a very significant point,” Mr Ramsey said.

"The Federal Morrison Government is partnering with the Marshall State Government and providing more than a billion dollars of direct investment for the roads in Grey.

"Port Wakefield is just a part, albeit a very significant part of the rebuilding our road network."

The Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication Project is being delivered by the Port Wakefield to Port Augusta Alliance (PW2PA) – a consortium of CPB Contractors, Aurecon and GHD, in alliance with the South Australian Department for Infrastructure and Transport.