The South Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport made a shock announcement Friday Morning that they have found a solution to the hundreds of complaints about the current road conditions plaguing the Old Sturt Highway between the townships of Berri and Barmera. And that is to remove the highway all together.
“We discussed resurfacing the entire 11km stretch of road, but came to the conclusion it’ll be too expensive” Said a spokeswoman for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. “Not only is it cheaper, but there are plenty of other roads to use to get between the two towns so theres really no need for it”
The government has neglected the Old Sturt Highway in recent years due to the Sturt Highway which goes through Monash which saves time for Interstate travel. Recently, the Old Sturt Highway has seen an increase in use, especially by heavier vehicles such as road trains which have recently been allowed through the region, thus bringing increased deterioration of the already neglected highway.
Some residents who live along the Old Sturt Highway have expressed mixed reactions to the planned removal of the road. “I can’t believe they’re doing this, how am I supposed to get out of my driveway when theres no road to drive on anymore” one man told us, who will be trapped on his property for eternity once the highway has been removed. “Honestly, since the shooting in Glossop, I’ve been afraid to drive to Berri. Now I no longer have to drive through that warzone and can use other better built roads even if it does take an extra few minutes” a Barmera woman said.
As well as people who live along the highway, local winery Berri Estates has expressed concern saying the removal of the highway will run them out of business, as trucks will have a harder time importing and exporting goods. “Maybe we can build an airport or even a train to bring in grapes and export wine, ideally we’d like the highway to remain” a spokesperson for the winery said.
Removal of the Old Sturt Highway is planned to commence in June.