Old Caves Road reconstruction starting

The first stage of reconstruction of Old Caves Road, Naracoorte has been started by Naracoorte Lucindale Council.

The Old Caves Road links Naracoorte to the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves.

Due to this linkage the Old Caves Road has been identified by Naracoorte Lucindale Council and Limestone Coast Local Government Association as an important regional tourism route in need of upgrading so the road is suitable for tourism traffic.

“Once completed the Old Caves Road will be an important link from Naracoorte to the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves,” mayor Erika Vickery said. 

“Ensuring Old Caves Road is suitable for tourism traffic, such as caravans and recreational vehicles (RVs), means visitor can be directed through the Naracoorte Town Centre and then via the Old Caves Road to the Naracoorte Caves, rather than travelling along the Riddoch Highway.

“This offers the opportunity of significant added benefit to the Naracoorte Town Centre with visitors stopping for a refreshment or to explore other parts of town they may not have considered.

“This project also supports the Naracoorte Caves Connection Concept Statement which highlights the importance of the Naracoorte Caves and the Naracoorte Town being well connected to increase economic benefit to Naracoorte.”

The project being undertaken by the Naracoorte Lucindale Council is a significant reconstruction of the road. To ensure the safety of employees and road users, and for efficiency of works, the section of Old Caves Road from Caves Road to 3.8km north towards Naracoorte is closed to all traffic. Alternate routes are via Riddoch Highway to Caves Road or Langkoop Road to Caves Road.

The reconstruction involves the use of up to six trucks, a water cart, heavy rollers and a grader on site at any one time, in a restricted area. Unauthorised vehicles entering the worksite create a hazard for workers, particularly employees operating heavy equipment and not expecting other vehicles. In sections the road level is being raised and in others it is being lowered causing an extremely undulating and unsafe surface for regular vehicles.

Naracoorte Lucindale Council secured a $618,000 grant from the Special Local Roads Program, supplementing the Stage 1 project cost of $1.27 million. The Special Local Roads Program is a partnership between the South Australian, Commonwealth and Local Governments. Old Caves Road starts at Arthur Street in Naracoorte and finishes at the intersection with Caves Road.

This section of reconstruction is stage 1 of a 3 stage project. It’s anticipated that stage 1 will be completed by the middle of February 2019. Stages 2 and 3 are scheduled for construction in 2019/2020 and 2020/21, respectively, subject to continued funding. Stage 2 will involve a complete re-construction of a 1km section from the Arthur Street intersection to Price Avenue.

Stage 2 construction will commence 300m south of Pistol Club Road and finish 1.6km south of Pistol Club Road. The reconstruction of these sections of Old Caves Road will complement the section reconstructed between Pinkerton Road and Pistol Club Road in 2014.