Northern Territory Roads

The Northern Territory

It is also known as the Top End or Outback State. The roads here are managed by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, and the government has constructed over 21,700 km of roads within the territory. The Northern Territory has its problems when it comes to road construction, and this has to do with the fact that it is sparsely populated. The isolation of a significant part of the territory, the massive rivers that could become raging torrents, and the heavy rainfall of the territory. All these are significant problems for road construction in the area. Northern Territory has no officially proclaimed highway system, and what is regarded as a highway here are the roads named as such by the NT Place Names Committee. The core road of the highway network is the Stuart Highway, the busiest in the territory. There are also Victoria and Barkly Highways that branch off Stuart and also serve as the primary interstate routes that connect to Western Australia and Queensland. All the other highways in Northern Territory also appear to branch off the Stuart Highway age serving either as an interstate connection, connection to a major area, or connection between highways. In Northern Territory, there seems to be no relationship between the strategic importance of the road and the designation as Highway. For instance, the Tjukaruru Road or Tanami road that provides interstate connections don't have the status of Highway name. There are plans to introduce new roads legislation which will lead to the classification of roads as Highways, Main Roads, among many other categories.

The Active Highways in

Northern Territory include

Barkly Highway

Arnhem Highway

Buntine Highway

Buchanan Highway

Kakadu Highway

Carpentaria Highway

Lasseter Highway

Roper Highway

Plenty Highway

Sandover Highway

Stuart Highway

Ross Highway

Victoria Highway

Tablelands Highway

However, The Duncan Highway has been decommissioned. It was part of the Western Australian highway before the Ord River dam was created in the 1970s, leading to the realignment of the Highway to the extreme western end of Northern Territory.

Route Numbering

Northern Territory has a two-tier system for route marking, which is made up of the National Highways and Routes and the State Route system.

These route marking systems have been in existence since the 1980s, but the state is yet to implement full signposting for its state route system.

The state is currently making plans to implement the alphanumeric route marking system as part of the general conversion to this route marking system which is going on throughout the country. There are already cases of alphanumeric route marking such as the one in Darwin, but a large percentage of the territory roads are yet to adopt the system.

An iconic warning road sign for kangaroos near Uluru in Northern Territory, Australia


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