The new Bridgewater Bridge in Tasmania is expected to become a hugely significant step towards a more connected national transport network.
Following a rigorous tender process, involving several Roads Australia (RA) members, McConnell Dowell has been chosen to deliver what is set to be Tasmania’s largest-ever infrastructure project.
RA CEO, Michael Kilgariff, welcomed the announcement and said the new Bridgewater Bridge is destined to become an iconic piece of transport infrastructure which will unlock safety and productivity outcomes, enhance economic opportunities and improve community amenity.
“As well as providing a significant boost to the capacity of Hobart’s road network and reducing travel times for commuters, the new standalone four-lane bridge will be of significant benefit to freight movement between northern and southern Tasmania,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“Reducing freight transit times is especially important as the state’s population grows and local producers seek opportunities to take their goods into new markets.”
Mr Kilgariff said that the new bridge is ideally positioned to alleviate transport constraints and allow for better ease of freight transport between different parts of the state and with the mainland.
“The Midland Highway is the key connector between Northern Tasmania and Hobart, and the new Bridgewater Bridge will relieve one of the last major constraints on the route,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“In this respect, it is not only a significant piece of transport infrastructure for Tasmania, but also a critical link in the nation’s integrated transport network.
“The new bridge will promote employment growth and help Tasmania to leverage its strengths by facilitating exports to interstate and international markets.”
Mr Kilgariff said that the design of the bridge was informed by community feedback, with the final design reflecting the needs of the estimated 22,000 people who will use the bridge daily.
“RA especially welcomes the incorporation of active transport elements such as the shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists into the project design,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“This is a powerful demonstration of how road infrastructure enables other transport modes and can enhance community amenity.”
“We look forward to the commencement of construction in 2022 and to seeing the full range of economic and community benefits the new Bridgewater Bridge will deliver for Tasmania and the nation.”