Quick Facts

Project Proponent(s):  City of Charles Sturt
Project Manager(s): City of Charles Sturt
Principal Contractor(s): Leed
Total Cost: $24 million
SMA Contribution: $9.9 million
Other Funding Contributors:
• City of Charles Sturt
• Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure
• Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board


Port Road is a major arterial road connecting Adelaide and Port Adelaide in South Australia. The road traverses Adelaide’s north-western suburbs and passes for most of its length through the City of Charles Sturt. Following settlement by Europeans in 1836, Port Road was one of the first roads established in the new colony of South Australia.

The Port Road median strip is exceptionally wide as it was originally conceived to carry a railway and a canal. Eventually the railway was built to the east of Port Road, and the canal never eventuated. Today the wide median strip offers an opportunity for more ecologically sustainable stormwater practices, such as through the Old Port Road Wetlands which have been established to improve stormwater quality prior to discharging into the Gulf St Vincent.

The Port Road catchment drains areas on both the north and south sides of the road along its length. Stormwater is carried in an underground drain beneath the Port Road median strip and through the Old Port Road Wetlands into West Lakes, and then the Gulf St Vincent. Most parts of the drain under the median strip were constructed between the 1940s and 1960s, and the drain has a capacity of less than the 63% annual exceedance probability (AEP) storm event. To put this another way, there is about a ‘5 in 8 chance’ that the drain will overflow causing flooding at least once in any year. Many properties along Port Road experience frequent flooding, sometimes several times a year, and major public infrastructure can also be impacted including access and egress to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the SA Power Networks substation at Woodville.

In 2002 the City of Charles Sturt began developing the Port Road Rejuvenation Stormwater Management Plan, which was approved in 2007. The Plan recommended works across the catchment staged over several years. Stage 1 works, which included the Old Port Road Wetlands, were completed in 2014.

Stage 2 works include increasing the capacity of the drain under the Port Road median strip for approximately 2.6 kilometres between the Old Port Road Wetlands and Park Street South, Woodville. The Stage 2 works will reduce the frequency of flooding of residences and business along Port Road and, importantly, ensure safe access and egress to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a flood event up to the 1% (or ‘1 in 100’ chance) AEP.

The Stage 2 works commenced in January 2017 and are expected to be completed by December 2018. The City of Charles Sturt is currently working on the design for Stages 3 and 4 of the project, which will complete the capacity upgrade all the way along Port Road to Minnie Street, near South Road, in Croydon.

For more information see the City of Charles Sturt project website.