A tunnel through the main range (including on the eastern …

Comment on A bridge too far? A tunnel may be the answer. by Alex Nelson.

A tunnel through the main range (including on the eastern side, too) is an idea almost as old as the hills 🙂
Conversely there have also been a number of proposals over the years to dam Heavitree Gap; and indeed, in 1952, it was suggested that all the gaps and gorges should be dammed to create an enormous reservoir stretching through the MacDonnells.
That idea was suggested just over a decade before the discovery of the Mereenie aquifer.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

A bridge too far? A tunnel may be the answer.
All of this was discussed and researched in the mid 1980s, with the (then) NT Department of Works conducting tests in the bed of the Todd River at Heavitree Gap for suitability of construction of a four-lane flyover.
The NT Government announced in May 1986 that it would proceed with a roundabout at the north entrance to Heavitree Gap, alterations to South Terrace, and a new bridge just downstream of, and replacing, the Casino Causeway (Taffy Pick Crossing).
Public consultation was undertaken during 1987 about road developments through Heavitree Gap, with ultimately a model of a four-lane flyover displayed for public comment late that year.
Then we got hit with the Easter flood of 1988 and the NT Government completely changed its priorities in favour of a full flood mitigation dam at Junction Waterhole north of town. We all know where that ended up.
Moreover, Alice Springs failed to grow anywhere close to the extent originally envisaged 30-plus years ago, so the pressure was off the government to continue with any of these plans with the exception of the Tom Brown Roundabout and nearby road alterations built in 1994.
A tunnel or tunnels through the main range isn’t a realistic prospect, and I doubt it makes economic sense. The Heysen Tunnels near Adelaide were probably the most cost effective option for road transport in that vicinity.
The fact is that the west side of Heavitree Gap has long been compromised and can never be returned to a “pristine” condition. It’s also the path of least resistance for practical and economic reasons for any future developments, as far as I can tell.
I can’t see the point in “restoring” Heavitree Gap into a “pristine” condition by punching tunnels through the ranges. It’s a nonsense proposition.
In the long run there will probably be a need to widen the road through Heavitree Gap, and I expect that will most easily be achieved by a bridge structure that perhaps could include the existing laneways.
However, it’s difficult to see any chance of that happening for a very long time.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Deloitte to close Alice Springs office
Erwin, the top floor was actually built at the request of the ABC as the building was originally intended to be two storeys.
The NT Tourist Commission was one of the early occupants of the building, along with the Housing Commission, too.
Thanks to Cyclone Tracy, the headquarters of the Tourist Commission was relocated there from Darwin, and remained in Alice Springs at various locations until 1992.

Council resignations and surprising alliances
@ Scotty (Posted June 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm): “By the way, Willshire was not found guilty of anything” – while in turn Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty.
History shows the decisions of courts are not sacrosanct; and in both examples, the findings were (at a minimum) miscarriages of justice.

Deloitte to close Alice Springs office
Looks like we’re going to have to change the name of the building from its current “Deloitte House”.
Ah well, it wouldn’t be setting a precedent – for many years it was called Sturt House but in fact was originally named “Stuart House” when the building was opened in 1973.
The first name didn’t last long and, although I haven’t sighted any documentary evidence, I suspect it was changed when it was realised there was already a “Stuart House” in town.
This was the still brand new south wing of the Melanka government hostel adjoining Stuart Terrace.
Well, poor old Melanka has long gone and Deloitte is leaving so maybe the original name of Stuart House can be restored.
Who says history is forgotten when we have site name changes?
[ED – Alex, we should have a party with the ABC. They used to occupy the top floor. And the Tourist Commission (yes, that’s the mob that actually knew how to promote The Centre) was on floor one or two.]

Council resignations and surprising alliances
Those who support this decision have provided their full names, those opposed (as I write) seem to be a little bit shy.

10 years for people recruiting kids to commit crimes
Given that we’re now two months out from the next NT polls, this media release masquerading as government policy can only be seen for what it is – the Gunner Labor Government’s law and order policy platform for the de facto election campaign that is already underway.
It is ridiculous for the Gunner Government to hark back to the previous CLP regime; for example, “Returning family responsibility agreements and orders that were previously scrapped by the CLP government”.
That’s now four years ago! I can’t see any initiative announced in this media release that couldn’t have been started well within this period, instead of waiting for the last minute to dangle them like carrots in front of the voting public, whom obviously the Gunner Government considers us all to be a herd of donkeys.
Surely there are enough of us in the community to see through such a cynical ploy; after all, this government has had a full term to come to grips with these issues.

Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor