Tasmania Bridge Hobart On Blue Sky

The Tasmanian Government has released its 2022-23 Budget, allocating $2.7 billion in funding for roads and bridges. 

This is $2 billion up from the 2021-22 Budget.

The huge funding boost includes the largest transport infrastructure project in Tasmanian history – the $786 million new Bridgewater Bridge – co-funded by the Tasmanian and Federal Governments.

The co-funding represents an unprecedented investment in Tasmania’s road and bridge infrastructure following a record $317 million investment in 2020-21 and a new record spend to be out the door in the current financial year.

Bridgewater Bridge

Construction will begin on the $786 million new Bridgewater Bridge early in mid 2022.

The project is funded through a partnership between the Tasmanian and Federal Liberal Governments, with the Federal Government providing 80 per cent of project funds and the Tasmanian Government 20 per cent.

The independent Major Project Assessment Panel appointed by the Tasmanian Planning Commission has approved the construction of the Bridge, paving the way for work to start on the project.

It will be delivered over the next three years providing a new four-lane bridge built downstream of the existing Bridgewater Bridge.

The new crossing will reduce congestion and reduce travel times for more than 22,000 people that use it every day.

Two new interchanges at Bridgewater and Granton, each the equivalent to the Hobart Airport interchange, will improve connections between the Brooker, Lyell and Midland Highways and a dedicated shared path will ensure cyclists and pedestrians can safely cross the river.

Federal Assistant Minister for Industry Development and Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Jonno Duniam, said the strong partnership between the State and Federal Governments was delivering the infrastructure projects and jobs that Tasmania needs.

“This construction will support around 830 jobs, including the creation of more than 200 new jobs for Tasmanians,” Mr Duniam said.

The new bridge will be open to traffic by the end of 2024, with the overall project completed, including the two new highway interchanges and the demolition of the existing bridge, in mid-2025.

South-East Traffic Solution 

The South East Traffic Solution consists of:

  • The Hobart Airport Interchange project – under construction and due for completion in mid-2022
  • Highway duplication (four lanes) near Tasmania Golf Club – construction to commence following outcome of Commonwealth environmental assessment
  • Removal of the roundabout at Midway Point and duplication of the highway (four lanes) through Midway Point – under construction and due for completion mid-2022
  • Comprehensive planning for the duplication of the Sorell and Midway Point causeways, with construction to be complete by 2025
  • The Sorell Southern Bypass – under construction and complete next month (June 2022)
  • An overtaking lane on the Arthur Highway near Iron Creek (complete)

When complete by 2025, the Tasman Highway will be upgraded to four lanes between Sorell and Hobart.

The Sorell area has one of the highest population growth rates in Tasmania at 1.7 per cent a year, nearly three times the Tasmanian rate and it is projected that the population will increase by more than 40 per cent in the next 14 years (to 2036).

Greater Hobart Traffic Solution

The Greater Hobart Traffic Solution commits $204.8 million in funding for short and long-term transport initiatives to manage peak commuter demand in the Hobart area.

Extra lane capacity will be added to the Southern Outlet and Macquarie Street as well as dedicated bus lanes, together with peak time clearways on Macquarie and Davey Streets while incentivising public transport and higher occupancy vehicle transport.

This complements the work already underway with park and rides in Kingston, 70 extra bus services per day and upgrades at the Algona intersection and duplicating the Kingston bypass.

Funds will also be provided for new shared pathways on the Tasman Bridge, enabling safer and easier access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sideling on the Tasman Highway

The Federal and Tasmanian Governments have committed $120 million for the upgrading of the Tasman Highway from just south of the St Patricks River Bridge across the Sideling to Scottsdale.

The funding commitment is for upgrading this section of the Tasman Highway, known for its challenging bends and spectacular topography, to B-Double standard.

The Dorset Council has long considered the Sideling to be a barrier to the economic prosperity of the North-East region.

Stage 1 involves upgrading a 15km section of the Tasman Highway between Minstone Road and the Sideling lookout and has been divided into two sections.

Evaluation of tenders for the first section, from the Sideling lookout to Whish-Wilson Road, is currently being finalised.

Works on this section will include road widening, pavement improvements, the provision of stopping bays, drainage works and safety improvements, allowing it to accommodate B-Double trucks.

The first section is expected to be completed in 2023.

The second section of Stage 1, from the intersection of Whish-Wilson Road to the intersection of Minstone Road, is in the design stage. 

It is scheduled to go to tender later this year and be completed in 2024.

Bass Highway Action Plan 

$280 million has been committed for a major program of works underway on the Bass Highway between Wynyard and Marrawah to improve safety and efficiency for this crucial link.

Works include new overtaking lanes, junction upgrades, road widening and safety improvements

This section of the Bass Highway is a key link for freight, tourism and people movement between the far north west of Tasmania and the key ports of Burnie and Devonport and further to Launceston and Hobart.

On average, more than 5,000 vehicles travel on this section of the highway each day, of which 14.8 per cent are heavy vehicles.

Also under the Bass Highway Action Plan, the Cam River Bridge will also be replaced under an $18.8 million contract awarded to Tasmanian company VEC Civil Engineering.

The new bridge will be higher, reducing the risk posed by floods, and, through wider lanes, a cycle lane and a pedestrian pathway will provide more room for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

The project also includes the installation of traffic signals at the junction of the Murchison and Bass Highways, which will improve traffic flow. The Murchison Highway is a heavy vehicle route and signals will allow heavy vehicles to enter the Bass Highway more safely.

Construction will start in the coming months and be completed in early 2024.

Road and bridge works across the state

Other investments in the 2022-23 State Budget include:

  • $80 million to upgrade the Illawarra Main Road, a key link in the Tasmanian State road network, to improve the road to a Category 1 standard and achieve a three-star AusRap safety rating
  • $75.1 million to address growing traffic congestion issues in the Launceston and Tamar Valley road network, including delivering improvements on the West Tamar Highway north of Legana as well as safety improvements to the Batman Highway
  • $100 million to the East Tamar and West Tamar Highway upgrades to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow in Launceston and the Tamar Valley. Works include lane separation, junction improvements and overtaking lanes as well as integration with the new Tamar River Bridge
  • More than $50 million has been committed for improvements to key highways links to the productive West Coast region including the Lyell, Zeehan and Murchison Highways
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