Residents of townships along South Australia’s Southern Ports Highway have called on the state government to repair the road as recurring potholes continued to endanger travellers.

Key points:

  • Locals living along South Australia’s Southern Port highway are calling on the state government to replace the pothole-riddled road
  • The 119-kilometre stretch is the main transport route for the Limestone Coast 
  • A local mayor is meeting with authorities this week in a bid to resolve the issue

The 119-kilometre stretch between Millicent and Kingston is in need of serious repair. 

Beachport local Heather Burdon said the community had resorted to calling it ’50 shades of grey’ because of the many patches and potholes on the road.

She said when new potholes have appeared, they were typically filled in with wet cement and a spade, with “no compaction”.

Bit of bitumen are strewn across the bush next to a highway.

Motorists are concerned about the rough surface of the Southern Ports highway.(ABC South East SA: Selina Green )

“It’s just ridiculous. I mean the whole road is in total disarray.”

She said the road was first sealed in 1978 with an expected lifespan of 30 years.

“We’re well and truly past that 30 years and it’s to the point of no return,” Ms Burdon said.

Ms Burdon said driver safety was her biggest concern, but was aware of frequent complaints of dented cars, chipped paint, broken windscreens and flat tyres.

“We’re not talking small holes here, we’re talking huge deep craters in the road, one after the other.”

A hole in a road breaks up a freshly painted lane line.

Crews have resorted to painting lane lines over the potholes on Southern Ports highway.(Supplied: Heather Burdon)

Highway an important regional link 

Wattle Range Council mayor Des Noll said that being a state road, it was up to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure to look after the Southern Ports highway.

“We’ve written to the Minister as council several times and we’re not getting a positive response and that’s disappointing,” Mr Noll said.

“[When potholes are repaired] it’s patchy repair, it’s hastily performed and all of a sudden some of these repairs are falling apart.”

Mr Noll said he had a meeting lined up with the department this week.

“Hopefully that will come to fruition and we’ll be able to achieve something,” Mr Noll said.

“It’s a really important road. Our gross regional product value is nearly $4 billion in the Limestone Coast, and we have 34,000 employed residences, and many of them are travelling on that particular road.”

Ms Burdon is hoping for a better outcome, too.

“As ratepayers and taxpayers we are absolutely fed up with not any money coming back into the regional areas, it seems to be all spent in the city.”

The South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure was contacted for comment.

Posted , updated 

‘Fix the damn roads’: Local mayor takes aim at SA government over ‘dangerous deep craters’ in highway
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