Melbourne : Three truck parking bays will be upgraded on the Roper Highway to help create a safer and more efficient road network in the Northern Territory’s Gulf region. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government had committed $750,000 towards the cost of the works under Round Four of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. This would ensure safety for heavy vehicle to commute in the area, and strengthen the existing capacicity of road operation in the region.
Truss sounded confident that these upgrades would benefit traffic decongestion and enable smooth travel path for trucks and their drivers. He said – This programme boosts productivity and safety for heavy vehicle operations across Australia by enhancing the capacity of existing roads. An increase in heavy vehicle traffic associated with mining activities in the Gulf has highlighted the need for better truck rest stop facilities to help heavy vehicle drivers manage fatigue. These truck parking bays will be sealed to provide higher standard rest stops for heavy vehicle drivers servicing the needs of local residents and businesses in the region.
Northern Territory Minister for Transport Peter Chandler said the Northern Territory Government contributed matching funding for the project. He elanorated that upgrading the highway’s available facilities would help heavy vehicle drivers get the rest they need to ensure they drive safely. The works, he added, were expected to be completed by mid-2016, weather permitting.
Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the Roper Highway was a critical road link for the mining and cattle industries in the Gulf, as well as the residents of Ngukurr and Numbulwar. He said — Many tourists and recreational fishermen use the highway to get to the Roper River and nearby coastal areas, so upgrading the region’s transport network is very important to the local economy, The Australian Government understands how important these links are, which is why we have allocated an extra $200 million for projects under an expansion of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme.
Tenders for the project would close on February 17.