The $14.6 million Penola Northern Bypass is now open to traffic, delivering significantly reduced heavy vehicle traffic through the Penola township and reduced travel time.
The Northern Bypass construction was jointly funded with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government contributing $11.7 million and the South Australian Government providing the remaining $2.9 million.
The Penola Bypass will initially have a posted speed of 60km/h to enable driver familiarisation, and to enable remaining works to continue safely, with full completion expected around mid-2020.
The final posted speed limit of 100km/h is expected to be in place by the end of April.
Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the purpose of the Penola Bypass was to significantly reduce heavy vehicle traffic volumes through the Penola township, reducing conflict between heavy vehicles, pedestrians and local traffic within Penola.
"Today marks the completion of a project that has been 50 years or more in the making.
"To finally have the works completed is a huge relief considering what the community went through under the previous State Labor Government, who refused to accept the Federal Funding I fought so hard to secure," Mr Pasin said.
Naracoorte Lucindale Mayor and Chairman of the Limestone Coast Local Government Association Erika Vickery also said the completed Bypass would be an asset to the South East.
"The Riddoch Highway is the major transport connector through the centre of the Limestone Coast and the opening of the Penola Northern Bypass will provide an improved, efficient and safer heavy vehicle transport network," she said.
State Member for MacKillop Nick McBride stated he was proud to be part of a Government that has been committed to see this bypass finished ahead of time.
"This is a fantastic day for our community," said Mr McBride.
"With the Northern and the Southern section of the bypass now completed, the so-called "road to nowhere" is no more. Vehicles will now have the option to bypass the township, reducing the number of heavy vehicles passing through Penola."
"This will improve safety for local residents and businesses and enable them to concentrate on growing their town as an important tourism and commercial destination."
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the Penola Bypass is a critical piece of infrastructure for the Limestone Coast.
"We are backing our regions and are delivering a host of measures to improve infrastructure such as the Penola Bypass to help grow regional economies and support regional jobs," Mr Knoll said.
The project includes:
- Construction of a new 2.2 kilometre undivided, sealed rural arterial road with sealed shoulders.
- Construction of a T-junction at the Riddoch Highway (Church Street) where the new Northern Bypass will connect to the Highway to the north of the Penola township.
- Upgrade of the junction at the Penola Bypass and the Robe to Clay Wells Road (where the Northern Bypass and Southern Bypass meet) to a staggered T-junction.
- Realignment of the Riddoch Highway (Church Street) T-junction with the existing Southern Bypass to the south of the Penola township to make the Bypass the through road.
- Road LED lighting at the three junctions and drainage infrastructure.