The Australian Government has announced it will fund the construction of an interchange project at the Hobart Airport that will see a new, free-flowing intersection replacing the existing roundabout.

The Australian Government has committed up to $24 million and the Tasmanian Government up to $6 million toward the $30 million project.

Major works are expected to start in 2018 once important pre-construction works have been carried out, with completion of the project due in 2020.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the upgrade would introduce an overpass over the Tasman Highway and diamond interchange ramps, while also extending the dual carriageway to improve safety and travel times.

“The existing roundabout has five approaches that are already in gridlock during peak periods with queues of over a kilometre long,” Mr Chester said.

“This new project will reduce commute times and improve efficiencies for motorists and businesses operating in the city and around the airport precinct.”

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said the funding approval delivered on a 2016 election commitment.

“With projected increases in passenger numbers, freight movements and commercial development within the airport precinct — all of which are great news for Tasmanian businesses and jobs — it is important we invest now to ensure the local road network is fit for purpose,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Delivering a four-lane grade-separated interchange will be the catalyst to unlocking this capacity.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, said the project would support the growth of Hobart Airport — the state’s key international gateway for trade and tourism.

“With ongoing runway expansion and redevelopment works, as well as broader airport precinct commercial development, investing in nearby road infrastructure is critical to securing Tasmania’s economic future,” Mr Hidding said.

“There are more than 820 people employed at Hobart Airport, which contributes $143 million into the state’s economy each year, and the precinct’s future as a potential link to major Asian markets and as an international Antarctic resource hub is very exciting.”  

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