Works to repair flood-damaged SA Olympic Dam Highway now underway

Monica Gameng   |   March 15, 2023
Olympic Dam Highway circa 2016 (cr:

Works to repair the Olympic Dam Highway in South Australia are now underway, delivered as part of a program of works that will help boost the resilience of the State’s flood damaged outback roads and highways. 

These recovery works are being carried out after intense rain and succeeding flooding in South Australia’s far north and outback in early 2022. 

“In late January and early February of 2022, torrential rain and subsequent flooding in the northern and western areas of South Australia caused extensive damage to the road network. 

“This widespread damage meant that extensive road closures were required across the region, which impacted local communities, business and tourists. 

“The SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport and its contractors worked together under difficult conditions to quickly reopen the National Land Transport Network, key rural arterials and outback roads, restoring the vital movement of essential supplies across the nation,” State Minister for Regional Roads Geoff Brock said. 

The program is aimed at repairing flood damaged roads as well as restoring national and state supply chains. The works will also help reconnect remote and regional communities and industries that have been heavily affected by flooding and extreme weather conditions. 

The Australian and South Australian Governments are jointly funding the Targeted Investments to Improve National Supply Chain Resilience works – each contributing $60 million and $15 million respectively. 

“The Olympic Dam Highway is a critical route for this region. Residents of the connected towns, as well as local miners, farmers and tourism operators, need and deserve safe and reliable infrastructure. 

“These communities have been hit hard by the impacts of recent flooding and extreme weather events, making investment in recovery works like these vital to the long-term resilience of our regional, rural and remote road networks. 

“That is why we have committed funding, in partnership with the South Australian Government, to make these works happen – and I look forward to seeing communities reap the benefits of being better and more safely connected,” Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said. 

Initially, the works included building a detour road, installation of improved drainage structures and scour protection, new road surfacing, line marking and safety barrier. 

Works such as the reinstatement of scoured material, new pavement surface and installation of safety barriers on the Stuart Highway at Woocalla Creek are well underway along with final sealing and finishing works that are due to begin later this month. 

Design works on other projects that form part of the program are also progressing, including: 

  • Stuart Highway, Lake Windabout – installation of additional drainage, raising the existing road level, scour protection and installation of safety barrier 
  • Stuart Highway, Glendambo – installation of additional drainage, raising the existing road level and scour protection 
  • Eyre Highway, approximately 25 kilometres west of Kimba – installation of additional drainage, raising the existing road level and scour protection 
  • Outback Highway – raising the level of existing road alignment and pavement conditioning to enable it to withstand future flooding events 

“Repairing this infrastructure is a really important step in helping these communities recover from last year’s significant flooding. 

“These floods exposed how delicate the supply chain is into some of our regional and remote communities, and this funding will ensure we can strengthen the essential infrastructure and improve the outcomes for these communities, should they experience similar flooding events in the future. 

“The Albanese Government is working closely with the Milanauskas Government to support South Australian communities, and we’ll continue to do so,” Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said. 

Construction tenders for the projects above are expected to be released by mid to late 2023, subject to design works. 

Further details such as construction timeframes will be determined through the design process. 

Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government; Government of South Australia – Department for Infrastructure and Transport; Big Rigs 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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