Flood-hit Stuart Hwy set to open this week

Parts of the Stuart Freeway could reopen to all traffic by the end of the week after being cut off by damage and flooding from summer storms.

The critical road link, which serves freight from Adelaide to Darwin, reopened to essential heavy freight and emergency service vehicles on Sunday, albeit in one direction and at a maximum speed of 20km/h.

A 250km stretch of the highway between Glendambo and Coober Pedy has been impassable for more than two weeks due to 400ml deep flood waters.

SES Chief of Staff Derren Halleday reported on Sunday that floodwaters had subsided enough for heavy vehicle traffic to pass between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.

“The water there has gone down significantly,” he told reporters.

“[There are] areas of the road ridge that are now only 100ml underwater, definitely islands appearing at the top there.

Authorities plan to allow high-clearance 4×4 vehicles to cross in one direction at a maximum speed of 20 km/h from tomorrow.

A road condition assessment will be carried out mid-week to determine if traffic blocks and light vehicles can travel on the road, while the Glendambo highway “may be ready” to reopen to traffic in the two directions from Friday, but with lower speed limits. .

Halleday said the movement of cargo means emergency airdrops of supplies to cut off cities will begin to subside.

“There are ongoing flights being organized over the next couple of days, but they are drastically decreasing now as the transport industry is able to open up through these areas,” he said.

“We anticipate a significant rollback.”

Halleday also said the SA rail lines to the Northern Territory and Western Australia that have been cut are unlikely to be repaired until February 17 or 18.

A total of forty-five local government areas were affected by the state’s record summer storms, he said.

A major emergency declaration remains in place in response to the weather event.

-with AAP

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