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Granite Island Causeway Project

The Project

The South Australian Government has committed $31.1 million in funding towards replacing the iconic connection between Granite Island and Victor Harbor, known as the Granite Island Causeway. The project will be delivered by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

Artist impression for illustration purposes only

The Granite Island Causeway is the only link between Granite Island and the mainland at Victor Harbor and has cultural significance to the traditional owners in the area.

The iconic landmark is a popular tourist attraction servicing Granite Island, tourism attractions and local businesses.

A condition assessment has identified that the original Causeway was approaching the end of its useful life and retaining the existing structure was not considered viable.

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

Works have been undertaken on the existing structure to maintain safety and accessibility while the new Causeway is being constructed.

The South Australian Government has committed $31.1 million to this project with construction of the new Granite Island Causeway expected to commence in early 2021.

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 engage with the local community and work collaboratively with the City of Victor Harbor as we deliver this iconic landmark.


  • The Granite Island Causeway was first constructed in 1864 as Victoria Pier, with a spur that extended into deeper water to service the delivery of cargo.
  • The Causeway (along with the tramway) was extended to connect to Granite Island in 1875, with Screw Pile Jetty completed in 1881.
  • Horse drawn passenger tram services commenced across the Causeway in 1895.
  • The spur on the Victoria Pier was used as lifeboat storage and swimming baths but went into disrepair and was demolished in the 1956.
  • The Causeway was re-built in 1957 with the deck and balustrade completely replaced;
  • The Causeway has undergone numerous repairs and replacement of major parts of the structure during life.

Causeway with Victoria Pier in background. Circa 1930.

Causeway with Victoria Pier in background. Circa 1930.


  • Much of the original timber has been replaced by new timber, concrete, steel and recently aluminium supports to stabilise the structure and provide short term safety and access to Granite Island.
  • At present, approximately 10% of the original structure below deck remains. Above deck, including all handrails, all been replaced over the years and is non-original.
  • In 2019 the Causeway partially collapsed and is currently propped by temporary bracing. The existing structure was assessed to enable repairs and maintain safe access to Granite Island.
  • A significant number of components of the existing causeway have been assessed as being of poor to failed condition with very advanced deterioration. This poses major safety, maintenance, costs, and access issues.
  • This includes 98% of the timber piles which would result in no original piles remaining, 100% of the bracing, 30% of crossheads, and 69% of balustrade posts.
  • Refurbishment of the existing Causeway would require closure for a significant period of time to salvage timber, install new piles and replace the remaining timbers with salvaged and new materials.

Primary condition issue is pile necking. The Causeway is currently propped by temporary bracing.

Primary condition issue is pile necking. The Causeway is currently propped by temporary bracing.

Future Plan

  • The new structure would provide a holistic design solution that creates an elegant local landmark, respectful of heritage and place.
  • The existing Causeway functionality is to be retained with a shared zone (for tram/ vehicles/ pedestrian) and pedestrian priority zone.
  • A wider Causeway will provide improved pedestrian access, including for those with a disability, and separation of pedestrians and horse-drawn tramway.
  • The new Causeway is to include enhanced rest areas;
  • The Causeway will be able to provide ongoing access to Granite Island with a modern structure that accentuates, reflects and respects its historical significance.
  • To address heritage issues, the new structure would be offset from the existing alignment.
  • Delivery of a “whole of life” solution that minimises ongoing maintenance costs

Next Steps

  • The Government Architect (ODASA) has developed the urban design framework to set the urban design principals, objectives and aspirations for the iconic connection the project.
  • Procurement has commenced and the next steps is to work with industry on an efficient and constructible design solution.
  • Review the Causeway offset to achieve heritage objectives whilst minimise the impact on the foreshore and tramway operations.
  • Submission of the development application.
  • Continue to consult and collaborate with the City of Victor Harbor on foreshore impact and tourism opportunities.
  • Continue consultation with local Aboriginal groups.
  • Development of scope and technical requirements to support procurement and construction.

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


Construction works on the new Granite Island Causeway are expected to commence in early 2021, weather permitting, with the Causeway expected to be open for public access in late 2021.

Completion works and decommission of the existing Causeway will be undertaken after this and are expected to be completed in late 2022, weather permitting.

Community Engagement

The Department held two Community Information Sessions in Victor Harbor in December 2019. The department will continue to collaborate with the community as the project progresses.

Information on how the Department will support small business through the project can be found here.

Further information

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

Phone:   1300 049 048


DIT COVID-19 Response

To help safeguard the Granite Island Causeway project team and the wider community, we have implemented measures to manage the risks of, and our response to, contracting COVID-19.

These include but are not limited to, increased hygiene practices and limiting face-to-face contact.

The Granite Island Causeway project team will provide updates and work notifications via letterbox drops, emails and the project website. We are also available via telephone.

We encourage the community to register for email updates by emailing

There will be no planned community events or information sessions until further notice.