Passing lanes on the Lincoln Highway and four kilometres of haul road into Port Lincoln could become reality thanks to a $25 million commitment from the federal government.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey announced on Tuesday the government had pledged $25 million to upgrade the Eyre Peninsula road network to cater for increased truck movements due to the closure of the EP rail network.
Mr Ramsey said although final decisions were yet to be made he would recommend for main works to focus on widening the Tod Highway, the installation of passing lanes on the Lincoln Highway and converting the last four kilometres of the rail corridor into a haul road for trucks to enter Port Lincoln.
"This is a very strong and sensible response, demonstrating both state and federal governments understand the value of our agricultural sector and increasing importance of our transport networks," he said.
Mr Ramsey said the commitment was part of a large package announced for SA regional roads last week which included $150 million to upgrade critical freight corridors in Grey through the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative.
He said he had worked closely with state transport minister Stephan Knoll and member for Flinders Peter Treloar to ensure the road network was able to cater for the increased movements.
Mr Treloar welcomed the announcement and said it would help make Eyre Peninsula's transport corridor a lot safer.
"It could go a long way to alleviating some of the concerns people have about the extra truck movements on the road," he said.
Since the rail announcement Lower Eyre Peninsula councils have expressed concerns about the impact increased truck movements would have on the road network, including roads coming into Port Lincoln.
Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association president Sam Telfer said this was a great commitment to the region's roads and Mr Ramsey's recommendations were inline with priorities discussed by the association and local councils.
"It's exciting and a relief to have a commitment for Eyre Peninsula road infrastructures," he said.
Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty said this was good news from the council's and the region's point of view.
Mr Flaherty said hopefully the best solution as to how funding would be allocated would be determined.
"From the council's point of view it's extremely good news," he said.