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Granite Island Causeway Project

The Project

The South Australian Government has committed $43 million in funding towards the Granite Island Causeway Project delivered by The Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

The Granite Island Causeway (the Causeway) is an iconic landmark with considerable heritage value. The Causeway, located 83 km south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula, is the only link between Granite Island and the mainland at Victor Harbor and is a site of cultural significance to the traditional owners of the area. The Causeway is also a popular tourist attraction, important to the local, regional and state economies.

Urban design aspiration – The Department is committed to delivering a holistic design solution that creates an elegant local landmark, respectful of heritage and place.

A condition assessment has identified that the original Causeway was approaching the end of its useful life and a feasibility study into the potential upgrade options determined that retaining the existing structure was not viable.

The new Granite Island Causeway  will continue to deliver and enhance social and economic benefits to the region and provide a long-term solution that is environmentally sensitive.

For more information regarding Granite Island Causeway Environment please follow the link here to view Environment Fact Sheet

The project is expected to support an average of 43 full time equivalent jobs per year, over the life of the project.

The Department will continue to work with the local community, key stakeholders and environmental specialists as the project progresses, and consultation and collaboration with the Traditional Owners will also continue to ensure the inclusion and recognition of Aboriginal heritage in the design of the new Causeway.

New Causeway Design

The new Causeway has been constructed adjacent to the old Causeway, offset 10 metres to the east of the current alignment (narrowing at each end). The new Causeway follows both the alignment and the height of the old Causeway.

The benefits of building a new Causeway include:

  • A  holistic, design solution of similar design appearance and simplicity with a 100 year design life that creates an elegant local landmark, respectful of heritage and place.
  • The new Causeway has been integrated with the retained portions of the old Causeway at the mainland and island.
  • Retention and restoration of a significant portion of the Causeway which allows an appreciation of the original fabric and sightlines.
  • The new Causeway will continue to deliver and enhance social and economic benefits to the region and provide a long-term solution that is environmentally sensitive.
  • Continuation of the historic horse drawn tram operation’s which have been compromised by the restrictions due to the condition of old Causeway.
  • Disability access compliance and provides improved pedestrian amenity.
  • Provides pedestrian priority zone and with separation of pedestrians and horse drawn tramway.
  • Uninterrupted, reliable access to the island
  • The new Causeway includes three rest areas, with locations mirroring old Causeway whilst providing improved seating and interpretive signage;
  • Provides ongoing access to Granite Island with a modern structure that accentuates, reflects and respects its historical significance.
  • This project enables the old Causeway to remain open to pedestrians, horse drawn tram and the existing small business and key stakeholders during the construction of the new Causeway. The operation of the old Causeway will continue to be subject to current operating restrictions and construction staging requirements for the new Causeway.
  • Installation of new and improved boat ramp, to better accommodate the requirements of the commercial tourism operators that currently utilise this asset.
  • Provides more efficient full access to and from Granite Island for emergency services.
  • Opportunities for public realm investment which will improve people’s appreciation of the structures and locality through historic storytelling, interpretive signage and public art including the reuse of original timbers from the carefully dismantled central portion of the causeway;
  • Installation of new fox gate to protect local fauna.

The new Granite Island Causeway at Victor Harbor opened to pedestrians on Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Further works will be undertaken in early 2022, to construct the new boat landing facility for the Causeway, and to complete minor finishing works.

Public access to Granite Island and its facilities will be generally retained during these remaining works, with some intermittent short-term closures of the Causeway required to enable the works to be undertaken safely.

The old Causeway will remain open to pedestrians until decommissioning works commence from February 2022, with completion expected the end of 2022. Portions of the original Causeway will be retained at the Island and the mainland as viewing platforms, which allows an appreciation of the original fabric and sightlines.

Horse drawn tram is expected to be operational in early 2022.

Piling Progress

Follow the construction progress of the new Causeway with our regular progress map updates.

(Causeway Piling Progress Image Gallery).

Old Causeway Timbers

Following the decommissioning of the old Causeway, all timbers removed from the structure will be stored off site and will be inspected to determine the presence of any pests (termite/borer) and contamination (tar coatings, other) to decide whether the timber is suitable for re-use.

Timber will be sorted and where reusable will be prioritised for re-use as follows:

  • replacement timber where required on the remaining old Causeway viewing platforms;
  • reuse throughout the project (seating, signage, art);
  • stored for re-use on DIT marine jetty structures;
  • allocated to council and DEW (for re-use on local community projects); and
  • made available to registered interested parties.  register details here

It is anticipated that a substantial amount of timber will be unsuitable for re-purposing and will be disposed of.

Until the timber structure is decommissioned the Department will not be able to determine the quantities of timber that may be available to interested parties.

The Department cannot guarantee that timber will be available to those who register their interest.

Interested parties can register their details. All interested parties will be advised once more information on the condition of the timbers is known.

Please note the decommissioning of the old Causeway is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.

Further information

To find out more about the project, provide feedback or register to receive project information as it becomes available, register your details or:

Phone: 1300 049 048


COVID-19 Response

The Department will continue to tailor community engagement opportunities in line with the latest COVID-19 advice from health authorities.

Face-to-face engagement opportunities may be restricted and we will continue to be guided by the advice of health authorities, with the health and safety of our stakeholders always our highest priority.

Engagement with community and industry is crucial and we will facilitate information sessions as much as possible to enable face to face engagement.  It is important to assist in managing these events that you register as requested to enable physical distancing as much as possible.