Carpentaria Highway major upgrade

The Northern Territory (NT) Government will deliver a major upgrade of sections of the Carpentaria Highway.

It is a key access road to the Beetaloo Sub-Basin, Borroloola and an important service route for the pastoral, tourism, agricultural and mining sectors.

The road is also a key route for supplies and transport for Glencore’s McArthur River Mine.

This is a $150 million project, jointly funded over four years ($120 million from the Australian Government, $30 million from the NT Government).


The upgrades to the Carpentaria Highway will complement multiple strategic projects currently underway that aim to bring the Territory’s vision to become a world-class gas production, manufacturing and services hub to reality.


The project will involve:

  • reconstructing
  • widening
  • lifting
  • other flood immunity improvements
  • sealing.

Sealing of the road will be undertaken to a dual-lane standard, meaning one sealed lane in each direction, offering substantial safety benefits for all road users.


The project is expected to result in the following benefits:

  • improved efficiency and network reliability
  • improved freight productivity and access to freight gateways
  • improved road safety for all road users, in line with Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan
  • improved connectivity between people with jobs and services, and goods with markets
  • improved flood immunity, thereby reducing annual road closures
  • improved access to health and social services for remote and Indigenous communities
  • Aboriginal employment and business supplier opportunities.


Planning works are underway with the following investigations:

  • engineering survey
  • geotechnical pavement investigation
  • gravel and construction material investigations
  • water bores and associated works
  • concept design preliminary assessment.

Project stages

The overall project will be delivered as a single design and construct lump sum contract, with separable portions: Portion 1 is from Chainage 0km to 50km and Portion 2 is from Chainage 50km to 140km.

Public tender is expected in November 2021 on Tenders Online.

The project will contribute to the delivery of Infrastructure Australia’s 2021 high priority initiative: Enabling-infrastructure for developing the Beetaloo Sub-Basin.

Information session

An information session was held on Wednesday 8 September 2021, to provide:

  • an update on the Carpentaria Highway Upgrade project
  • a briefing on the delivery model and
  • to seek industry feedback before finalising tender documents.

To view the presentation that was delivered at the information session, download the Carpentaria Highway major upgrade presentation PDF (1.1 MB).


For more information, email or phone 8924 7118.

Last updated: 14 September 2021

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