Construction has started on the final 12 kilometres of Litchfield Park Road and the bridge over the Lower Finniss River in the Northern Territory.
Local company Ostojic Group was awarded the $26 million contract in May 2019 to construct a new bridge over the river and complete the upgrades and sealing of the last 12 kilometres of the road.
The $26 million upgrade will ensure the road is kept open during the wet season where it would normally be closed for long periods.
It is anticipated the road will become a scenic tourist loop through the National Park, attracting visitors year round.
Jobs are being provided to Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal people who have strong connections to the area, and the Northern Territory Government will continue to work with Traditional Owners to ensure their involvement in the project.
Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler said the government’s top priority is local jobs. Litchfield Park Road is supporting 80 jobs in construction and once completed, will create more opportunities in the Top End and the Batchelor region.
“We are making it easier and safer to travel on our roads while also providing more opportunities for communities, tourism, pastoral and agriculture industries to grow and support more local jobs.”
In order to improve the flood immunity of the road and improve access for remote communities and towns in Litchfield Park and the surrounding areas, progressive upgrades and sealing have occurred on Litchfield Park Road over a number of years.
The Northern Territory Government has contributed $39 million to the entire project, and the Federal Government has made available $5.7 million as part of the Asset Recycling Initiative.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrades are essential to ensure access to the road during wet season.
Works on Litchfield Park Road are expected to be finished by 2020, weather permitting.