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07 September - Australia National Highway united

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07 September - Australia National Highway united

Unread postby Max ADU » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:25 pm

Today in Australian History
Sunday, September 7, 1986.

The last section of the sealed National Highway around Australia is completed, between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek.

Australia's National Highway

At a total length of approximately 14,500 km (9,000 mi) it is the longest national highway in the world.

The National highway is longer than the Trans-Siberian Highway (over 11,000 km or 6,800 mi) and the Trans-Canada Highway (8,030 km or 4,990 mi).

Every day more than a million people travel on a part of it.

In the beginning
The first road in Australia, outside of Sydney, was completed in 1815. William Cox was commissioned to build the road to Bathurst, using convict labour.

The original Great Western Highway covered 161 km and incorporated twelve bridges. This road was just the first step in the highway network that would eventually extend across and around the entire continent.

Australia unites
The National Highway
Act was initiated in 1974 as a means to establish a fully sealed national highway around Australia.

The Federal government funded the building of the highways, although construction and maintenance was the responsibility of the various State and Territory Governments.

The final section of the sealed highway around Australia was opened on 7 September 1986.

It had taken five years to widen and seal the 289 kilometre section of the Great Northern Highway between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek in Western Australia.

Although other sections of the National Highway were rerouted in ensuing years, the Fitzroy Crossing-Halls Creek link was considered to be the last section to be sealed.
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