MAJOR improvements to Darwin's inner-city road network are on the way, with construction work kicking off on the Barneson Boulevard project, the Australian and Northern Territory governments announced last week.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Australian Government had committed $29.5 million to the Barneson Boulevard and Tiger Brennan Drive Stage 3 project.
"The new Barneson Boulevard link and the final stage of duplication of Tiger Brennan Drive will support approximately 80 jobs through the construction phase and provide major improvements to traffic flows in Darwin's CBD," Mr McCormack said.
"Successive governments have invested in the upgrade of Tiger Brennan Drive and this project will see the completion of this important link to the inner city."
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the recently announced Federal Budget delivered a $75 billion pipeline of infrastructure investment nationwide, including hundreds of millions of dollars for roads across the Northern Territory.
"This pipeline includes $180 million toward upgrading Central Arnhem Road and up to $100 million to improve the Buntine Highway. The Northern Territory will also benefit from the $1.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance - Northern Australia Package and a further commitment of $160 million toward the iconic Outback Way across Queensland, the Territory and Western Australia," Mr Fletcher said.
"These projects will benefit the Territory in terms of productivity, the economy and road safety, while leveraging off significant investments already underway such as the Barneson Boulevard and Tiger Brennan Drive."
Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Nicole Manison said the Territory Government is providing $10.8 million towards the project (additional funding has been allocated for landscaping following consultation with the community), while City of Darwin was contributing $5 million.
"As part of the Government's plan to revitalise the CBD and create jobs for Territorians, the project's green infrastructure works would create an iconic new entry to Darwin," Ms Manison said.
"The Government has listened to the people of Darwin's requests for additional landscaping, enhancements of the amenity aspects for the new entry and preservation and activation of the heritage-listed Frog Hollow Park.
"Barneson Boulevard will have a tropical, urban feel and will support further economic development in the Darwin CBD, including enhancing public spaces."
Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said the project demonstrated what can be achieved through co-operation between all levels of government.
"Council has worked with the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to realise this new tree-lined entry point to the heart of Darwin," Lord Mayor Vatskalis said.
The project, which is being undertaken by local company Territoria Civil, is expected to be completed in mid-2020, weather permitting.