Roper and Wilton River Crossings

During construction of the Roper and Wilton River Crossings, traffic management will be in place.  For the safety of our workers and all road users, please take care in the area and follow all traffic management direction and signage.

The Roper Highway provides a critical link between Mataranka and Indigenous communities, including Ngukurr, Rittarangu and Numbulwar.

The project valued at $55 million includes construction of two new bridges at the Roper River and Wilton River is jointly funded by the Northern Territory and Australian Governments.

These essential upgrades are being delivered through the $106 million Regional Roads Productivity Package Infrastructure Investment Programme.

Each Wet Season, the existing low level crossings are prone to flooding, making the area impassable for 80-150 days a year.


Reducing the number of road closures experienced each year.

Improving access and safety for local communities and businesses in the area.

Current works

Work to upgrade the Wilton and Roper River crossings along the Roper Highway is under way and includes:

  • on site establishment
  • procurement of sub-contract work package
  • road and bridge works in compliance with the Environmental Management Plan.

Construction started in April 2016. A major detour has been constructed and utilised around the Wilton River Crossing.

The Department of Infrastructure is committed to regular communication throughout construction to ensure that the community, travelling public and impacted stakeholders are well aware of works in advance.

Project scope

The project comprises a total of 7.3km of two-lane sealed road on the Roper Highway and two new high level bridges at Roper and Wilton Rivers.

Roper River Crossing:

  • a new high level bridge approximately 750m upstream from the existing crossing
  • sealed road approaches either side of bridge
  • realignment of the Roper Highway to include the new bridge.

Wilton River Crossing:

  • a new high level bridge at existing crossing
  • sealed road approaches either side of bridge
  • a temporary unsealed major detour in place 1.5km downstream from the existing crossing.

During peak construction, it is anticipated that up to 80 people will be employed on the project. The focus of the delivery is to maximise local engagement through the release of a number of work packages targeted at local contractors and Indigenous employment.

Project timeline

Construction started after the Wet Season in April 2016 with completion scheduled at the end of 2017 weather permitting.

Hours of work/traffic management

The Roper Highway will remain open during the works with detours in place. The existing Roper Bar crossing, boat ramp, Roper Bar Store and local roads will remain accessible.

Access to certain parts of the river will be restricted for safety reasons.

The Roper River and Wilton River will be closed to vessels 50m upstream and 50m downstream of the new bridge locations from August 22 2016 until project completion.

Motorists are urged to travel with care in the area and adhere to all traffic management in place.

Road users are encouraged to regularly check the Road Report website prior to travel during the Wet Season and after periods of heavy rainfall.

Managing contractor

The Managing Contractor contract has been awarded to Sitzler Pty Ltd.

Sitzler is a local company that has operated in Darwin since 1976 and during this time have successfully promoted local industry growth, supporting local suppliers and subcontractors including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents of the Northern Territory.

Sitzler currently directly employs over 80 staff in Darwin. The project will distribute business broadly amongst the community by providing a range of subcontracting opportunities.

Local industry has the opportunity to register their interest in the project through who will promote tender opportunities in relation to the project. Expressions of interest were called through ICN NT and closed in January 2016.


You can contact Jay Brewster-O'Brien, the project manager, either by:

Latest news

Date Item Reference
August 2017Community update (621.6 kb)
May 2017Community update (465.4 kb)Community update
December 2016 Community update (442.1 kb) Community update
August 2016 Advertisement (121.6 kb) Temporary closure
August 2016 Community update (576.7 kb) Community update
June 2016 Community update (181.3 kb) Community update
May 2016 Community update (159.6 kb) Community update
April 2016 Advertisement (953.3 kb) Construction starts
14 October 2015 Advertisement (407.2 kb) Works commencing
28 October 2015 Fact sheet (312.6 kb) Works commencing
November 2014 Fact sheet (657.1 kb) Proposed works

Roper Highway realignment surveyRoper River proposed crossingWilton River crossing

The Australian Government and Northern Territory Government jointly funded road works along the Roper Highway are progressing well, despite recent flooding.

The bridge construction at the Wilton River crossing is starting to take shape with the beams going up.

Roper Wilton floodRoper Wilton floodWilton River crossing constructionWilton River crossing construction

Media resources

Location map

Roper and Wilton crossings work areas location map

Download JPEG version (1.2 mb)

Artists impression Roper Bridge

Artists impression Roper Bridge

Download JPEG version (394.7 kb)

Artists impression Wilton Bridge 

Artists impression Wilton Bridge

Download JPEG version (456.9 kb)The Australian Government and Northern Territory Government jointly funded roadworks along the Roper Highway are progressing well, despite recent flooding.

Last updated: 04 October 2017