PRELIMINARY construction works on the southern section of the Penola Bypass road are expected to start in early March, according to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
Tenders for the 2.5km southern section, between Robe Rd and the Riddoch Hwy, will be called for mid to late next month.
Last November the SA Government announced funding for the first stage through the Rural Freight Improvement program with construction expected to start in the middle of the year.
It has been a long road for the Penola Bypass, which has been debated at length - and strongly opposed by some local detractors - for years.
Once complete, the bypass will take heavy traffic around the town to the west, in a north-south direction.
The project has come under fire from sections of the local community who fear the bypass will have an adverse affect on businesses and tourism in the town, as well as vineyards of Coonawarra and other landholders affected by having the road pass through their properties.
Other issues such as the speed limit and "exclusion zones" to prevent businesses starting up on the bypass have been discussed more recently.