New floating highway to connect Adelaide and Port Lincoln

1 April, 2022


RAA has today announced plans for a new underwater expressway that is set to halve motorists’ travel time between the city and Eyre Peninsula.

The highway, which will essentially consist of two concrete tubes floating beneath sea level, will enable drivers to traverse water that is too wide or deep for a bridge, and remove the need for road users to drive up and around the St Vincent and Spencer Gulfs.

Our Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure, Charles Mountain, said the new ‘floating highway’ has been based on similar concepts coming out of Norway.

“This concept essentially creates a highway that sits beneath the surface of the water, and it is suspended by guide ropes and held down by anchor points.

“It means we can now bridge two land masses very effectively.

“It will enable drivers to get from Adelaide to Port Lincoln in a fraction of the time it takes to drive up and around.”

“Floating highways such as this take pressure off the road network and are relatively affordable. The precedent has been set by the North-South corridor project – this just take it one step further where we can have essentially tunnels, only they’re surrounded by water.”

The project – dubbed the Matlock Underwater Expressway – is set to begin investigative works in the coming months.

Mr Mountain said the benefits for tourism would be profound.

“Not only will this make South Australia even more attractive as a tourist destination due to the reduced travel time, but it should see an increase to populations in the region as well.

“Obviously there will be an enormous time-saving component, but it also provides great flexibility into the future, as you can re-shape the road it to best suit the topography of the land beneath the sea.”

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