Heavitree Gap planning study

The Stuart Highway through Heavitree Gap (Ntaripe) is the primary route connecting the north and south of Australia.

Future traffic modelling show that it needs to be upgraded to meet future needs.

Engineering consultant, SMEC has been engaged to investigate a long-term infrastructure solution for duplicating the road through the Gap.

Their work will be considerate of all road, rail and pathway user needs, cultural and environmental values, safety, travel efficiency and aesthetics.

Why the planning study is needed

This project is about working with the community on ideas that might be viable to upgrade the road, when the need arises.

In 2016, the department undertook research to predict future traffic conditions for Alice Springs in 10 and 20 years, based on medium growth scenario identified in the 2009 Alice Springs Land Use Study.

The 2016 Alice Springs Regional Traffic Study revealed that improvements will need to be made to some parts of the road network in order to maintain a safe and efficient network.

This includes duplicating the Stuart Highway, through Heavitree Gap.

The Gap is reasonably narrow and constrained by the road, the National Railway line and the Todd River.

There are a number of Aboriginal sacred sites, heritage sites, as well as power and water services that are also located in The Gap.

It is important to consider all of these factors in the planning process to ensure we get the design right for the long term future of Alice Springs.

Wide lens photo of the heavitree gap region

Community consultation

The MacDonnell Ranges and the Todd River are valued highly by the Alice Springs community, and are an icon for Australian tourism.

We will engage with the community of Alice Springs to ensure everyone has an opportunity to have a say about the project.

Consultation will occur over three stages:

  • Stage 1, 30 January - 16 March 2018 - Information gathering stage
  • Stage 2, dates TBA - Community  feedback invited on possible designs
  • Stage 3, dates TBA - preferred design announced for community information

Have your say

To register your interest in finding out when consultation stage 2 is open, email transport.planning@nt.gov.au or call us on 8924 7118 to speak with the Stakeholder Engagement Manager.

The project team will be meeting with key stakeholders as part of the planning for this project, including:

  • Alice Springs Town Council
  • Tangentyere Council
  • Alice Springs Flood Mitigation Committee and Town Camps.

More information

For more information, read the:


Transport Planning
08 8924 7118

Last updated: 30 September 2022

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