Tasmania’s most recent major road project, the $22 million Huon Highway Summerleas Road Intersection upgrade, has reached completion, making the highway safer and more efficient  for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, said the Huon Highway is a key link to the Huon Valley, connecting major industry sectors such as forestry, aquaculture and agriculture with Hobart and beyond.

“This upgrade means faster and safer links to major commercial, educational and residential facilities in Kingston – one of Greater Hobart’s highest growth residential areas,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The Turnbull Government has committed up to $17.5 million to this important upgrade – supporting 80 jobs during construction with over 20,000 sub-contractor hours completed over the life of this project.

“This project is a great example of how the Turnbull Government is investing in vital roads designed to make our cities more liveable and this is possible because of a stronger economy.”

Tasmanian Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Jeremy Rockliff, said the intersection had a history of crashes and these upgrades would further reduce the risk of head-on crashes through the installation of a flexible safety barrier between lanes.

“There are also improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians as well as safer bus stop locations on the Huon Highway,” Mr Rockliff said.

“This project will not only improve safety and efficiency but will also cater for the forecasted traffic demand for the next 40 years.”

Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Eric Abetz, who was instrumental in securing the funding for the project and turned the first sod last year, welcomed the official opening.

“For more than a decade, everyone has known this intersection to be highly dangerous and so I am pleased that the new intersection is now open which will ensure that the Huon Highway is safer for all,” Mr Abetz said.

“As a life-long Kingborough resident I know first-hand how important this upgrade is and was pleased to be able to secure $17.5 million from the Commonwealth for the upgrade to proceed. This is just another example of the Federal and State Liberal Governments working in partnership for the betterment of local Tasmanian communities and I also salute former Councillor Roger McGinniss for his tireless advocacy for this upgrade.”

The upgrade provides a grade separated interchange, with Summerleas Road passing under the Huon Highway. The roundabouts on Summerleas Road increase safety for traffic turning between Summerleas Road and the Highway on and off ramps. All lanes of the highway have opened and returned to their final speed limits.

The Australian Government is providing up to $17.5 million with the Tasmanian Government providing up to $4.4 million for this project.

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