Planning work on the final stage of what the federal and Northern Territory governments are referring to as the Northern Territory’s ‘largest ever’ road construction project is set to begin immediately following a funding agreement between the two governments.
In a joint statement released last week, Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson announced that construction work on widening a 12-kilometre section of Tiger Brennan Drive between Berrimah Road and the Darwin CBD will begin next year, with planning work to commence immediately.
Under the new agreement, which involves widening the above-mentioned section of road from two lanes to four, the federal government will stump up $70 million for the project while the territory government will contribute the remaining $33 million.
Referring to the federal investment as ‘a vote of confidence in the territory’s future’, federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says completion of the fourth and final stage will reduce congestion and travel times between Darwin and Palmerston and provide better access to the port.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson says the upgrade, which comes as Darwin prepares for a boom in civil and building construction activity on the back of the Ichthys LNG Project, is important because of the need to upgrade infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Ichthys and other projects.
He says the first stage of the upgrade cut up to 20 minutes of travel time to and from Darwin, and completion of the final stage will reduce travel times further.
“For residents of the Northern Suburbs and Palmerston and the rural area it means spending less time in their cars, a safer and quicker trip to work, and less merging lanes,” Henderson says. “The first stage is done, now we are finishing the job by duplicating Tiger Brennan Drive all the way.”
The upgrade will begin at the Berrimah Road end and end at the city border.
Negotiations on road design will take place with Darwin City Council when duplicating the Dinah Beach Road to CBD connection to the city.