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Tanami Road Update

Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics  

Media Release  

3 March 2017  

Following an extended period of rain and flooding, assessments are underway to determine the repairs needed on the Tanami Road.
The Tanami Road is the most direct route from Alice Springs through to Western Australia and the Kimberly, and provides access to a number of Aboriginal communities, pastoral properties and The Granites mine site.  

The Tanami region has reportedly exceeded its average annual rainfall in the first 39 days of 2017 and December and January were the wettest months on record in the last 46 years of data collection.

The Tanami Road from the Stuart Highway through to Yuendemu has now been reopened to all traffic. The section of road from 346 km to 359 km from the Stuart Highway which incorporates Floodout Creek has been made passable with preliminary repair works completed.  

Water has damaged the road between 484 kilometres to 527 kilometres (Granites Mine intersection). Repair works have been undertaken to make this section passable. This has enabled the conditional opening of the Tanami Road section between Yuendumu and the Granites Mine turnoff, with weight restriction in place.

Roadtech Constructions Pty Ld is currently undertaking gravel resheet works between 510 km and 527 km (Granites Mine) and there will be further repair works to occur as recent sunny weather has assisted in drying the road and improving access to enable assessment and repair of damaged sections. Works are expected to be completed by June 2017.

Further rain fall in the last 14 days near the Western Australian border has resulted in the closure of the section of Tanami Road between Granites Mine Intersection through to the Western Australian border. Damage assessments have recommenced in this section with the clearing weather.
The portion of the Tanami Road in Western Australia remains closed.

The Northern Territory Government is working towards sealing the Tanami Road and has invested $16.5 million since 2014-15.
A tender to upgrade the road between 252km and 260km to a dual lane sealed standard will be released in coming days, with works expected to commence by mid May 2017.

A joint Western Australian and Northern Territory Government business case to seal the entire length of the road was submitted to Infrastructure Australia on 15 June 2015.

In February 2016, Infrastructure Australia refreshed the National Infrastructure Priority List, with the Tanami Road again listed as a project of national significance. Infrastructure Australia is currently working with the Northern Territory Government to finalise assessment of the proposed Business Case.

NTG Media Contact: Simone Phasey 8924 7028