Speed limits will be lowered and work will start from Monday to fix sections the Kakadu Highway.
The response from the NT Government comes after a Coroner highlighted the many hazards on the highway, some of which contributed to the death of four people in a horror crash last year.
The speed limit will be lowered to 100kmh along a 67 kilometre stretch of the highway.
A NT Coroner last week said it was likely loose gravel on the Kakadu Highway contributed to the death of four people near Pine Creek last year.
Several of them were from Katherine.
Judge Greg Cavanagh said heavy drinking was also involved with some of the car passengers, primarily the driver.
Due to a number of fatal crashes in 2018 on the Kakadu Highway, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics engaged a Road Safety Auditor to develop a strategy to improve road safety on the Highway.
The audit identified a number of improvements that could be implemented to improve safety including:
- Reducing the speed through winding sections;
- Install several warning and advisory signs;
- Sealing selected accesses;
- Widening culverts; and
- Installing guard rails.
The Department has already installed the recommended warning and advisory signs and from Monday several other actions will be taken.
From Monday, a permanent speed reduction will take place on a 67km portion of the Kakadu Highway from the Stuart Highway to the Mary River jump up. This portion of the Kakadu Highway has frequent curves and crests. The speed limit within this area will be reduced from 110km/h to 100km/h.
Sealing of selected accesses
Works will commence from Monday to seal selected accesses along the length of the Kakadu Highway, including the Bukbukluk Lookout access road as recommended by the Coroner.
Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics general manager of Transport and Civil Services, Ms Louise McCormick, said the department takes road safety very seriously.
"Following spate of fatal crashes in 2018, the Department undertook an independent audit of the Kakadu Highway to understand if there were any underlying infrastructure issues," said Ms McCormick.
"The audit identified particular infrastructure improvements, which the Department has been actioning and will continue to action.
"A speed reduction will take place on a 67km portion of the Kakadu Highway from Stuart Highway to the Mary River jump up. This portion of the Kakadu Highway has frequent curves and crests.
"Additional warning and advisory signs have been installed and works to seal accesses will start next week.
"Further work to be undertaken includes widening of culverts over waterways and guard rails."
"These works are being paid for under a new $3 million program to improve safety of our road infrastructure - a priority action under the Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan."
In addition to these works, the department is reviewing regular maintenance regimes for loose gravel on sealed surfaces in accordance with the Coroners recommendations.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.